Not to be outdone by Vermont, New York Gov. David Paterson will introduce a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday.

The move was telegraphed last week. It's relatively rare in New York politics for the governor to introduce a bill without being assured in advance that it will pass, but Paterson has decided to take a risk and let the legislature and senate fight it out.

Eliot Spitzer introduced a gay-marriage bill in 2007 that passed the state assembly but died in the senate. Paterson is reportedly considering introducing the same measure.

Paterson's proposal could meet the same fate, though given the momentum behind gay marriage measures in New England, there could be considerable pressure for the senate to at least let it come up for a vote. And former senate majority leader Joe Bruno, who shut down Spitzer's measure, is no longer around to muck it up.

The beauty of the legislative approach to gay marriage, as opposed to seeking justice in the courts, is that right-wing refuseniks can't hide behind the "legislating from the bench" canard. There's not much they can do but declare defeat when the forces of sin win by legislating from the legislature.