New York Governor David Paterson is shaking off concerns that a recent gay marriage loss in Maine might slow down the movement.

“I think there's this feeling that if legislation fails that it's this colossal loss for the cause,” Paterson said in an exclusive interview with gay blog Towleroad. “I find it to be motivational. I think that the public referendum in Maine should inspire us that there's more work to do, more persuasion to be made, more understanding to be reached, and more sensitivity to be displayed, and those of us who have been a catalyst for marriage equality have to regroup and work harder.”

And persuasive Paterson will have to be on Tuesday as he opens an extraordinary session of the Senate that includes gay marriage on its agenda.

Last week, Maine voters easily rejected a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers in the spring, despite polls that favored supporters.

New York is not the only state considering gay marriage. New Jersey gay marriage backers are calling on lawmakers to approve a bill before Governor Jon Corzine leaves office in mid-January. And gay marriage in the District of Columbia before the end of the year looks almost certain – unless Congress intervenes.

Prospects in New York, however, look grim, despite assurances from openly gay Senator Tom Duane, the bill's sponsor.

While Democrats hold a slim 32-to-30 majority in the Senate, where the bill faces its final obstacle to becoming law, several senators publicly opposed the legislation. And no Republican has publicly supported the bill.

Still, Paterson remains upbeat, saying: “I have a feeling, if it got on the floor, it would be voted up.”