Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for New York governor, says he will legalise gay marriage if elected.

According to the New York Daily News, he told attendees at the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Fall Dinner: “I don’t want to be the governor who just proposes marriage equality

“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.”

He was speaking after his Republican rival, Carl Paladino, apologised for saying that children were being “brainwashed” by homosexuality.

Mr Paladino called gay Pride marches “disgusting” and attacked Mr Cuomo for taking his daughters to a gay march.

He was criticised by other city politicians, gay groups and even his own party for the remarks and apologised for his “poorly-chosen words”.

The latest polls give Mr Cuomo a comfortable lead over his rival.

Last December, a gay marriage bill failed in the state Senate.

Incumbent governor David Paterson, who is a strong gay marriage supporter, called it “one of the saddest days of my life”.