[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/16/art.gillibrand.gi.jpg caption="Gillibrand said she supports same-sex marriage."](CNN) - New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand issued a strong endorsement Thursday of the legalization of same-sex marriage in her state.
"New York and the nation are ready to start a new chapter. The time has come for full marriage equality," she said in an issued statement. "I commend the Governor for his leadership on this important issue. If Iowa can do it, so can we."
Her comments come the same day Gov. David Paterson announced plans to introduce legislation seeking to add New York to the growing list of states where same-sex couples can legally get married.
Gillibrand did not endorse same-sex marriage when she was a congresswoman from New York's 20th District. Earlier this year, she indicated that she would back it as a senator.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York's other senator, has also declared his support for same-sex marriage, after initially opposing the idea.