New York governor David Paterson is planning to introduce a gay marriage bill this week, according to reports.

Various reports suggest that sources close to the governor say he will unveil the legislation this week, despite the possibility of it not gaining enough votes to pass through the Senate and Legislature.

If passed, the bill would make New York the fifth US state to allow gay marriage.

New York could be the fifth US state to allow gay marriage.

According to the unnamed sources, the announcement will take place at 10am local time on Thursday at Mr. Paterson’s office in Midtown Manhattan.

Last week, he told an Ithaca radio station that he wants to advance legislation in Albany to allow same-sex marriage.

“We’ll put a bill out and let the people decide one way or the other,” he said. “Why can’t people just debate the bills, vote on it, and it goes up or down?”

However, same-sex marriage activists are said to be concerned that if the bill fails in a state the size of New York, it may have a catastrophic effect on progress elsewhere, despite recent victories in Iowa and Vermont.

Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, which is lobbying lawmakers in Albany to approve a same-sex marriage bill this year, told the New York Times: “Why would you want people to vote on something that you knew wasn’t going to get passed?”

“We’re not interested in making statements.”