Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, says he’s optimistic that gay marriage will soon be legal in the state.

He said yesterday: “I know it’s failed before, but I think this is a different day. I’ll bring more urgency in the next few weeks.“

Thirty-two votes are needed for a bill to pass the Senate in the next six weeks. Mr Cuomo said he was confident that the votes would be found.

Last month, he told gay rights campaigners he will devote his “full attention” to marriage equality.

Speaking to campaigners in a closed meeting, he reportedly said: “For me, this is personal.”

Catholic leaders oppose the latest push but 700 Protestant and Jewish clergy members gave their support to the move this week.

Five states – Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington DC – currently allow gay couples to marry.

California’s ban is under review, while a large rally for gay marriage was held this week in Rhode Island.

In New York, a gay marriage bill suffered a surprise defeat in 2009 after support levels were overestimated.