“I don’t want to be the governor who lobbies for marriage equality.
“I don’t want to be the governor who fights for marriage equality.
“I want to be the governor who signs the law that makes equality a reality in the state of New York,” Cuomo told the attendees.
Cuomo was criticized earlier this week by his Republican rival, Carl Paladino, for attending a gay pride parade with his daughters, calling such events “disgusting.”
The Paladino campaign has been in damage-control mode since Sunday, when the candidate made offensive remarks about gays during a visit with Orthodox Jewish leaders in Brooklyn. He has since apologized for those remarks while maintaining his stance against gay marriage.
Cuomo, the current state attorney general, called Paladino’s remarks about gays “alarming and divisive and negative.”
When Cuomo first ran for governor in 2002, he declared that he supported civil unions over same-sex marriage. It was not until his 2006 bid for state Attorney General that Cuomo announced his support of gay marriage.
Last December, the New York state Senate rejected a gay marriage bill in a crushing defeat for gay rights advocates who had waged a long, expensive campaign and had won pledges of support from Senate Democratic leaders.