BY Glenn Blain and Kenneth Lovett
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
ALBANY - New York's top Catholic sought to slow momentum Tuesday toward a state Senate vote to legalize gay marriage.
"The stampede is on," Archibishop Timothy Dolan wrote in a blog post. "Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state's presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in."
He equated the move to allow same-sex marriage to life in China or North Korea, where "government presumes daily to 'redefine' rights, relationships, values and natural law."
"Please, not here!" Dolan continued. "We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought."
"We acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a 'right.'"
Meanwhile, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, an evangelical Christian group, warned that Republicans who support gay marriage will face primaries next year as the GOP seeks to keep control of the chamber.
"I know you are under tremendous pressure from both advocates for authentic marriage and same-sex 'marriage' activists, but now is not the time to abandon the core values of the Republican Party," the letter reads.
"This is a very serious issue, with both short-term political ramifications and long-term societal implications."
Supporters for gay marriage picked up four votes Monday, including from James Alesi, the first Republican to publicly say he'll support the measure.
The effort to legalize same-sex marriage is now two votes short, with at least four Republicans saying they are undecided.
The Senate GOP is expected to discuss the matter behind closed doors as soon as Tuesday and possibly bring it to the floor for an up-or-down vote by week's end.
Anti-gay marriage advocates aren't the only ones turning up the pressure.
Gay rights groups continue to press the issue.
"Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon and New York Ranger Sean Avery are due at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon to press for the same-sex nuptials.
And New York Giants owner Jonathan Tisch filmed a video supporting gay marriage.
"The momentum we've been building all year has crested at a very opportune time," said Ross Levi, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, the state's largest gay lobby group.
"We're greatly encouraged that the support in the Senate is now bipartisan," he said. "We think this is a very strong environment to go into these remaining days of the legislative session."