Gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has endorsed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's 2010 bid to keep her New York seat.

“Senator Gillibrand has emerged as one of the strongest advocates in the Senate for full equality for the LGBT community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese in a statement issued Thursday. “Gillibrand has time and again stood for fairness for all.”

Gillibrand is the New York senator appointed by Governor David Paterson after President Obama tapped Hillary Clinton to head the State Department. In accepting the post, Gillibrand immediately announced her public support for gay marriage, a move many commentators have said was necessary to win Paterson's endorsement.

Shortly afterwards, the state's senior senator, Charles Schumer, followed suit, telling the New York Daily News in March that “equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America.” With Schumer's about face, the state's entire Senate delegation now publicly supports gay marriage for the first time.

Gillibrand, a Democrat, also floated a bill that would have paused military discharges of gay soldiers as Congress debates whether to repeal the military's ban on open gay service, also known as “don't ask, don't tell.” The plan, however, fizzled due to lack of support.

HRC previously endorsed Gillibrand's 2008 bid for re-election to the House.

“I am very honored to once again have the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign,” Senator Gillibrand said in a statement.

“Equality, civil rights, and equal justice for the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community must be a clarion call for our party and our generation,” she added.