THE PERFECT SPOKESPERSON…. Last week, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) unveiled a proposal to permit gay marriages in the Empire State. Take a wild guess who’s positioning himself as the leading opponent of marriage equality in New York.

Rudy Giuliani is declaring war on gay marriage — vowing to use his strong opposition of it against the Democrats if he runs for governor next year.

The former mayor, in an extended interview with The Post, also predicted that Gov. Paterson’s high-profile effort to legalize gay marriage would anger many New Yorkers and spark a revolt that could help sweep Republicans into office in 2010.

“This will create a grass-roots movement. This is the kind of issue that, in many ways, is somewhat beyond politics,” said Giuliani, a two-term mayor who unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination last year.

I’m generally loath to drag a politician’s personal life into a debate over policy, but under the circumstances, Giuliani’s colorful familial background makes him a uniquely hilarious figure to lead the charge against gay marriage. Indeed, the former mayor would be wise to re-think this strategy.

For those who’ve forgotten, Rudy Giuliani has been married three times. The first was to his cousin. He left his second wife, Donna Hanover, by announcing it in a press release — before telling his spouse. After Hanover kicked him out their home for alleged serial adultery, Giuliani marched in a St. Patrick’s Day parade with his mistress.

There is arguably no prominent American worse suited to “declare war” on gay marriage than Rudy Giuliani. He has single handedly done more to undermine the institution of traditional marriage than any gay couple possibly could.

If proponents of marriage equality are really lucky, Giuliani will be the face of the opposition.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.