Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has recorded a video urging New Yorkers to support gay marriage.

“I grew up in the state of Virginia at a time when we had lost all the Jim Crow laws that prohibited black people from marrying white people and a lot of people said if we changed those laws it would be immoral,” Kennedy says in the 45-second video.

“Well, my father was very proud that he was part of the battle to establish this country to true constitutional democracy for the first time in its history,” he adds, referring to his father Robert F. Kennedy, brother of President John F. Kennedy.

“This is the last vestige of institutionalized bigotry that's left in this country and we need to get rid of it,” the 57-year-old lawyer adds. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Kennedy's ad, released Friday, is part of an ongoing campaign that features prominent celebrities and politicians, including Hollywood couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg and singer-songwriter Moby. The campaign, backed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, hopes to build momentum on the issue now, ahead of a hoped-for second attempt to legalize the institution later this year.

New York State Senator Thomas Duane has pledged to introduce a gay marriage bill this session.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed a majority (56%) of New Yorkers support legalizing the institution.