(CNN) - The New Jersey state Senate will vote Thursday on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, the senate president said.
Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat, has scheduled the vote for 2 p.m. Thursday, according to a Tuesday statement from his office.
"Given the intensely personal nature of this issue, I think the people of this state deserve the right to a formal debate on the Senate floor," he said.
The bill would likely need to pass both of New Jersey's legislative bodies - the Senate and the Assembly - soon to become law, as Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie, who takes office January 19, has said he would veto it. Outgoing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine has vowed to sign it.
Last month, the Marriage Equality Act's sponsors, Democratic Sens. Loretta Weinberg and Raymond Lesniak, asked that the Senate vote on the bill be delayed, in hopes that the Assembly would begin considering it, Weinberg said.
However, the Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts said last week that he would only call a vote if the Senate voted first, according to The New Jersey Star-Ledger.
Afterward, Lesniak and Weinberg asked Codey to schedule a vote, the newspaper said.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa, Massachusetts, and, as of last week, New Hampshire.
Also, District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty signed a measure last month recognizing such marriages as legal.
The measure is now under congressional review, but it's considered unlikely that the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill would block the bill. By law, Congress has the right to review and overturn laws created by the District of Columbia's city council.
Also last year, Maine voters overturned in November a law legalizing same-sex marriage, and New York's state Senate voted down in December a similar bill.
How is it possible to vote on whether citizens have equal rights under the Constitution? Should we vote on whether slavery should be reinstated? I don't understand how it's constitutional to allow a majority of Americans to vote to deny rights to one group? Can we vote to deny food to fat people? How about voting on whether bald people are allowed into restaurants? Maybe people with bad breath should be denied the right to breathe! The very idea of voting to discriminate is appalling, unconstitutional, and un-American.
ps. no democratic body, as in the people, have voted for gay marriage. only the "elected" without consultation of the "all the people" have voted for gay marriage.
it is an insult to the people, when our elected officials take an issue and vote their personal feelings. I vote for someone to listen and act on my behalf. I could care less what they think, believe or wish for. They are there to work for me.
The repos seem to think they have cornered the market on morality. Discussion is good then vote for gosh sakes. Brit Hume on fox told Tiger woods to change his religion from Budist to Christian and that woud help his marriage. Can you believe the gall of these people to think they know what is best for others. Don't we have more important isses than peoples personal relationships. Im not bothered or threatened by gay marriage. Get over it.
I'm tired of having "straight marriage" forced on me. When can we end that?
This discuss is taking place at the correct level. It is not appropriate for the federal government to interfere with a State's decision on this topic.
Personally, I would prefer that government got out the marriage business all together. Marriage is a religous union, which is not the same a civil union which is what governments can and should define legally, much like there a legal standards for a divorce, yet this is not the same as church annullment.