New York Governor David Paterson announced Tuesday that Senate leaders have agreed to vote on a contentious gay marriage bill before the end of the year, the New York Daily News reported.

“This is the first time that the Senate leadership has indicated that it will support a vote on marriage equality,” the governor said during a press conference.

Paterson called the news “stunning” and a “very happy development in this process.”

The governor made his announcement immediately following a meeting attended by Democratic Senate leaders, leading gay rights advocates, and various senators, including Tom Duane, the bill's sponsor in the Senate.

Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's leading gay rights advocate, said he was “very happy” with the agreement.

Paterson had asked lawmakers in the Senate, where the bill faces its final obstacle to becoming law, to vote on the bill during an extraordinary session that opened Tuesday. But lawmakers have resisted acting on the bill, saying closing a $3 billion budget gap was a more pressing matter. While the governor controls the agenda during such sessions, he cannot force senators to act.

Prominent elected officials from Paterson to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have urged senators to approve the bill.

Quinn, who is openly lesbian and engaged to marry her partner if the law is approved, became emotional when asked about the bill during a news conference at City Hall on Monday. She urged lawmakers to “stand up and say that everybody's family matters.”

Democrats hold a slim 32-to-30 majority in the Senate, but at least 5 of their members remain either opposed or undecided on gay marriage. And no Republican senator has publicly endorsed the bill.

Whether the measure passes or fails, gay marriage advocates say they want a vote to put senators on record.