House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she still supports a Senate-passed bill to outlaw workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people.
Some gay-rights groups have withdrawn their support because it has a broad religious exemption.
The California Democrat says she understands those concerns, but says the Senate bill is the only choice facing Congress now.
Pelosi is a strong supporter of gay rights. She says gay-rights advocates should ask themselves what happens if Congress does not pass an anti-bias bill. She says the groups must decide if that is a good outcome.
President Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in hiring. A White House spokesman declined to say whether it would include a religious exemption.