NEW YORK CITY, July 12, 2011 ( – State Senator Jim Alesi told a crowd gathered to celebrate the passage of same-sex “marriage” in New York that his priest embraced him and gave him Holy Communion when he attended Mass after voting to pass the legislation.

The event at which the senator spoke was sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, and took place in Manhattan four days after the New York Senate voted to legalize same-sex “marriage.”

After taking the microphone to loud applause and shouting, Alesi told the revelers, “that’s exactly what it sounded like when I went to Mass Sunday.”

“I went to Mass Sunday in my church and I was so warmly received. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, but I know in my religion, when I went up to receive Communion, my priest embraced me,” he said.

Alesi represents the 55th District of New York, which is in the Diocese of Rochester.

“The best story is the reverend on the right that was praying for marriage equality, and the reverend on the left that was praying against gay marriage. They were praying to the same God. That created a dilemma for God and it created a dilemma for me. He said ‘Jimmy, you’re on your own,’” Alesi joked, adding: “I think we did the right thing.”

The Republican Senator described his decision to support homosexual “marriage” as “anguishing,” alluding to his change of position from two years before, when he opposed a similar measure.

Alesi made headlines in early June when he became the first Republican state senator to publicly announce his support for same-sex “marriage.” His reversal, along with that of three other senators, was crucial to the success of the legislation, which ended up passing the Senate by a narrow vote of 33 to 29.

According to the New York Post, Alesi told reporters that his previous opposition was politically motivated. “I was supporting the conference vote that I thought at the time politically was necessary when we were in the minority. We are no longer in the minority,” he said.