New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Jean Moutoussamy-Ashe appear in new ads supporting gay marriage in New York.

The ads, backed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay advocate, feature prominent celebrities and politicians urging New Yorkers to join the campaign for gay marriage.

“My late husband, Arthur Ashe, and I fought discrimination throughout our lives,” Moutoussamy-Ashe, the widow of tennis great Arthur Ashe, says in one video. “I know that he would support marriage equality.” (The video is embedded in the right panel on this page.)

In his ad, Bloomberg says he supports gay marriage because “government shouldn't tell you who to love or who to marry.”

The campaign has previously featured actress Julianne Moore and fashion designer Kenneth Cole.

An effort last year to legalize gay marriage failed in the New York Senate after passage in the Assembly.

This year, gay marriage proponents have taken on the task of ousting senators who voted against the measure. The group Fight Back New York has already taken out two of its marks. Hiram Monserrate was defeated in a special election held in March and primary voters overwhelmingly picked Tim Kennedy, a pro-gay marriage candidate, over incumbent Bill Stachowski. The group is currently taking aim at New York State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., the Senate's most vocal opponent of gay marriage.

HRC's Brian V. Ellner, who is in charge of the group's push for gay marriage in New York, told the New York Times that the group wants to build momentum on the issue now, well ahead of a hoped-for vote next year.

“We want to build excitement and momentum in advance of that,” Ellner said.