The New York state Senate Majority leader has said he does not have enough support to win a vote on same-sex marriage.

Senator Malcolm Smith reiterated he is committed to legalising gay marriage in the state.

At the election in November the Democrats a 32-30 majority in the Senate, their first in the Senate for more than 40 years. However, at least two Democrats will block gay marriage legislation.

“We have reason to be encouraged,” Senator Smith said.

“We’re winning in the court of public opinion. I believe that the opponents aren’t gripped by the kind of all-consuming passion, if you will, to derail the rights of same-sex couples to unite under law … we all want marriage and family, and a home to raise our families.”

In June 2007, the state assembly voted with an 85-61 majority in favour of a marriage equality bill.

It later stalled in the Senate. The state’s Governor backs equality for gay and lesbian New Yorkers.

Gay marriage is legal in two US states, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

It was legal in California after a state Supreme Court decision in May.

Voters in the state approved a ballot measure denying same-sex couples the right to marry in November.

The ballot’s legality is being challenged in the state Supreme Court.