by Greta Kaul
The New York Senate shot down legislation that would allow gay marriage 38-24 after two hours of emotional debate Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.
Activists hoped that New York would become the sixth U.S. state to allow gay marriage, according to Reuters.
Five U.S. states have approved same-sex civil unions, and 31 have explicitly voted down gay marriage, The New York Daily News said
New York Governor David Paterson said he would have signed the legislation had it appeared on his desk, Reuters said. In New York's Democrat-controlled Assembly, legislation to allow gay marriage has passed three times. Wednesday was the first time the vote was put to the Senate.
As politically-liberal voters, polls show that a majority of New Yorkers have been found in favor of legalizing gay marriage, according to Reuters.