New York State Senator James Alesi has said his 2009 vote against gay marriage went against “what was in my heart.”

Alesi is among the four GOP senators who crossed the aisle in June to join all but one Democrat in making New York the sixth state to legalize gay marriage.

Alesi made his remarks during an invitation-only panel on Tuesday sponsored by The New York Times.

Also attending the event were Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said marriage equality was “just a matter of time,” and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly lesbian and is considered an early frontrunner for mayor.

The GOP lawmaker said his decision against voting for the bill two years ago was political calculation.

“So it's kind of shameful to admit, but in the world we live in, politics decides a lot of how you act. And knowing that the bill wasn't going to pass because the other side didn't have enough votes meant that you don't put yourself out there politically for a bill that is going to fail, when your conservatives and your right-wings will work against you in the next election,” Alesi said.

Alesi added that voting against the bill was “very, very hard for me.”

“I went out, and as I sat there I knew I was voting against what I believed. I knew I was voting against what was in my heart. I knew I was voting against what I thought was right not just for me, not only for New York, but for America.”