During a debate on gay marriage in New York, CNN anchor Don Lemon asked Brian Brown whether he's certain that he wants New York voters to decide the issue.

Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, reiterated the claim made by opponents that the majority of voters remain opposed to the institution.

“In 2009 we heard from the lead sponsor Tom Duane that the votes were there and the bill ended up being defeated 38 to 24,” Brown said. “So the notion that this is a done deal is simply wrong.”

“The Legislature should not be deciding something as important as the future of marriage. The voters of New York should have the same ability as 31 other states. Every single state that this has been put to a vote the voters directly have said, 'No. We know what marriage is. We know that it is unique and special and we do not want it redefined.'”

Brown's assertion prompted Lemon to ask: “58 percent of New Yorkers support same-sex marriage … Are you sure you want to take it to the voters?”

“Absolutely sure,” Brown said. “We saw polls just like this in California and in Maine. Polls that were worded in a very biased way. I have absolutely no doubt that if the voters of New York had a free and fair vote and they could vote on the issue of marriage, they would vote to protect it.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)