NYC
05/23/2011 01:37 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2011

Cuomo's Gay Marriage Message (VIDEO)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a video message strongly endorsing the push for marriage equality in New York.

"New Yorkers have been on the right side of history, indeed, New Yorkers have made history," Cuomo says in the video. "But on the issue of marriage equality, New York has fallen behind."

Cuomo mentions that same-sex partners are denied 1,000 federal and 700 state rights granted to married couples.

"We've come a long way and now it's time to come even further," Cuomo says.

The governor has been a powerful voice in the fight for marriage equality. It's one of the chief issues Cuomo is pushing on his People First Tour across the state.

In December of 2009, a same-sex marriage bill was defeated by a 24-38 vote in the state Senate. All Republicans and eight Democrats voted against the measure.

Since then, polls suggest that more New Yorkers than ever support gay marriage.

The Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash, who spends his summers in New York, came out in support of marriage equality in a new ad, and he joins a glut of celebrities who have spoken out in favor of the cause.

There remain obstacles to a gay marriage bill passing the Republican-controlled State Senate. Michael Long, chairman of the New York Conservative Party, has said he will not endorse any candidate who votes in favor of the measure.

But advocates hope obstacles like Long's staunch opposition can be overcome, in part by capitalizing on the support of the immensely popular governor.

WATCH Cuomo's message: