same_sexNEW YORK – Gov. David Paterson followed through Thursday morning on his promise to introduce legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in New York. He made the announcement during a morning news conference at his Midtown Manhattan offices, where he was joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a throng of other politicians and supporters

Unique among governors for his outspoken support for marriage equality, Paterson has established himself as a leader in the nationwide movement to

extend marriage rights to all adults. According to The New York Times, that advocacy will be needed as he begins the process of shepherding the bill through to passage

“Mr. Paterson is expected to take on a level of involvement unusual for a governor, inserting himself directly into the ongoing campaign in Albany to gather the votes needed to pass the bill,” reported The Times. “Currently the measure does not have enough support in the State Senate, which Democrats seized last fall and control by a thin margin, 32 to 30.”

During the news conference, Paterson said, “We have a crisis of leadership today. We’re going to fill that vacuum today.”

Despite the apparent uphill battle Paterson faces on getting his bill approved by the state legislature, The Times noted New York’s view of itself as a leadership state on liberal issues of social importance may impel resistant legislatures into the yes column, especially after Iowa and Vermont grabbed headlines in recent weeks with their passage of similar legislation.

Not all New York politicians are pessimistic about the bill’s future. The Albany Times Union reported, “Sen. Tom Duane, D-Manhattan, the leading advocate of same-sex marriage in the Senate, predicts passage with votes to spare.”