"Governor Paterson is saying that gay marraige is a recognition of gays and lesbians as people deserving full human rights. And thus if you vote that way now you would have to admit that you were wrong when you voted against gay rights before. Hence to avoid the guilt, you continue to oppose gay marraige.
He’s not talking about the hard core bigots in this case but rather people who are on the fence but unwilling to make the leap becuase of the guilt they would have to acknowledge about their past attitudes and actions (or inactions)."
In a way, Governor Paterson is making a similar point to Martin Luther King Jr. in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail" when he talks about the real problem with the Civil Rights Movement, and that is the white moderates choosing not to do anything and rather stand on the sidelines and wait for something to happen with time. He talks about how their refusal to support the Civil Rights Movement, even if it was not to oppose it, was very detrimental to the movement because they had a lot of power and a lot of influence in society among the whites and their stance could have changed the public opinion. Similarly, the Governor is addressing the "moderates" in this case , or those whose personal beliefs are torn between what their religious institutions have been telling them and their personal moral values, or if their opinions have changed as they have personally become more tolerant on the topic of gay marriage. In a way, he is addressing the topic of guilt and the possibility of it being a reason of these moderates who are personally on a fence on this issue to not be in favor of gay marriage so that they will not feel ashamed and express their views freely if their opinions have changed from being against gay marriage to being pro gay marriage. I think this is intention of the Governor, although he does have a hard time getting his point across.
Link to the article: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/paterson-on-guilt-and-gay-marriage/?scp=7&sq=religion&st=cse