New York Rangers winger Sean Avery is being praised for urging New Yorkers to support gay marriage.

The 31-year-old Avery recorded a video released on Saturday for the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign.

“I treat everyone the way I expect to be treated and that applies to marriage,” Avery said in his 30-second video ad.

“Committed couples should be able to marry the person they love,” he added. “Join me in supporting marriage equality.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

“Sean Avery is a true leader on the ice and off,” HRC's Brian Ellner told The New York Times. “His commitment as the first New York professional athlete to campaign for marriage equality is an important step as we grow the majority of New Yorkers who already want all loving and committed New York couples to have the same rights.”

HRC launched the campaign last year in an effort to shore up support for marriage equality in the Empire State before this year's push to legalize the institution. A gay marriage bill died in the Senate in 2009. This year's campaign will be coordinated from Governor Andrew Cuomo's office.

Avery said he understands he'll likely get ribbed by fans and players for supporting gay rights, but added that he's got a thick skin.

“People have been calling me names for 10 years just because I like to wear nice suits,” said Avery, who dabbled in the world of men's fashion. “It's going to take a lot to get me upset or to get under my skin. I'm O.K.”