New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has praised Stephen Saland for backing a gay marriage bill.

In a cover story for gay glossy The Advocate, Cuomo talks about the effort to gain Republican support for the measure.

Gay marriage advocates in the state never really stopped campaigning after a 2009 loss in the Democrat-led Senate. But after lobbying against gay marriage foes throughout 2010, it seemed the movement had slowed considerably, and talk of a second attempt this year sounded ill-advised.

The Senate, now in the hands of Republicans, had become an even taller hurdler to overcome and four Democrats remained opposed to passage in the chamber.

It seemed impossible to believe that Cuomo could wield sufficient influence to alter the politics, and that Republicans would risk their necks for what ultimately would be viewed as a Cuomo victory – a Democratic victory.

But he did. And now he credits Republican Senator Saland for breaking a key stalemate.

Saland offered his support as the measure teetered one vote shy of victory.

“Nobody wanted to be 32, because nobody wanted to be the person who, for the Republicans, you could say, 'Not only did you vote for it, but without your vote it wouldn't have passed,'” Cuomo said.

He called Saland's support “a real act of courage.”

“There are many times when you have legislators who stand up and take gutsy positions that they're penalized for. That's why it's gutsy,” he added.