Gay marriage is plotting its comeback in New York but whether senators will bite remains to be seen.

Last week, New York Governor David Paterson told gay monthly The Advocate that he would add the gay marriage bill to the agenda of a special session expected to take place in late September.

“I am anticipating a special session and I am anticipating this is one of the issues that we will address,” Paterson said.

Paterson discussed his plan with the state's most prominent gay marriage advocates Thursday, including the Empire State Pride Agenda, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Gill Action Fund.

The impromptu meeting was clearly an attempt to avoid a repeat of the uproar that followed in June when Paterson was playing his gay marriage cards closer to his chest.

During a special session, Paterson sets the agenda; however, he cannot force lawmakers to take action.

Paterson called such a session in June after Republican senators successfully led a leadership coup which left the chamber in disarray, stranding the gay marriage bill waiting for Senate approval to become law. Democrats have since regained control by a slim margin after two senators returned to the fold.

In announcing the special session, Paterson, a gay marriage supporter, did not mention if gay marriage would be on the agenda, infuriating gay rights groups.

“Not to include marriage for same-sex couples … is an insult to millions of gay and lesbian people and their families,” Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, said in a statement.

Hours after making his announcement, the governor reversed course, telling the New York Times: “It has always been my intention to see same-sex marriage come to the floor. I don't want there to be any confusion.”

“I don't want to do anything to jeopardize it,” he added. “But I think, because of the activity that went on today, I am forced to reveal my true intentions, even though the advocates knew them already.”

Despite the extra innings – and the governor's endorsement – senators ignored the gay marriage bill.

Now, Paterson blames the Republican Senate coup for putting gay marriage on the back burner in New York.

“I felt that the whole fight over the coup denied the people of New York resolution on a number of issues that were very controversial and had been discussed and advocated for,” Paterson said Thursday. “I think that we owe the public a proper disposition on those pieces of legislation, and one of those was marriage equality.”

As the previous special session highlights, most senators remain divided on whether to legalize gay marriage in New York.

Democrats hold a slim two vote majority in the 62-member Senate. But only a few Democrats, about 20, have publicly endorsed the bill. And five Democratic senators say they are against the measure.

For the bill to win passage, backers need the help of at least four Republicans. But no Republican has publicly endorsed the bill. And the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, has threatened Republicans who cross the aisle to vote in favor of the bill.

In June, NOM announced the creation of a Political Action Committee in New York to raise funds to back primary challengers of GOP Senators who vote in favor of gay marriage.

“Gay marriage is not high on the list of any voter's priorities, but again and again we've seen politicians respond to political money thrown around by [gay philanthropist] Tim Gill and his friends to ignore the wishes of their own constituents,” Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said in a press release.

Still, openly gay senator Tom Duane, a Democrat from New York City, says the bill will pass if lawmakers are allowed to vote their conscience.

“I remain optimistic that it'll pass this year and it'll pass with bipartisan support,” Duane told gay weekly The Washington Blade.