(CNN) - A push to legalize same-sex marriages in New Jersey faces a crucial test Thursday, as the State Senate is scheduled to vote on the issue.
The bill passed through the State Senate's Judiciary Committee last month by just one vote. Same-sex marriage supporters are expected to have an uphill fight to secure the 21 votes needed to advance the bill. If the legislation passes the scheduled 2 p.m. ET vote, the drive would head to the State Assembly, which has yet to vote on the issue.
Throngs of supporters and opponents of the issue are expected to congregate at the statehouse in Trenton.
Supporters of legal same-sex marriages are running against the clock. Republican Gov.-elect Chris Christie, who takes office on January 19, says he would veto the bill.
The man Christie beat in November's election, out-going Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, says he would sign the bill if it reaches his desk before he leaves office.
New Jersey currently offers civil unions for same sex couples.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa are currently the only states that legally allow same-sex marriages. Last year, lawmakers in Maine approved legalized gay marriages. But in November voters in Maine passed a referendum to overturn the new law.
Last month the District of Columbia legalized same sex marriages, but the measure is now under a 30 day review period by Congress, which by law has the right to review and overturn laws created by Washington DC's city council.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn
We in NH are gonna vote on this issue and OVERTURN it. New Jersey can sidestep that by just saying no to this abnormal behavior. Now is the time to do it.
cram through legislation.........
we have read this story already, it cause problems
when wil these libs and left wingers get it?
Oh good grief. Why should heterosexual couples be the only ones who are miserable?
And this is AMERICA! We're not supposed to discriminate against anybody.
What a sad day for America.
I hope this passes
It's time NJ.
Onward, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.
And civil rights shouldn't be put up to popular votes in America.
What is the big deal? If what someone else does doesn't hurt you then let them do it. The people who think that gay marriage ruins the marriage between and man and a woman had better think again. Those marriages had problems before.
Once again, these are special rights...not equal rights. Gays can marry any person they choose, as long as that person is of the opposite sex. So you see, gays have the same rights as everyone else. They just want special rights. They want to upset the institution of marriage, which by the way is a religious institution. If they want civil unions, then go right ahead. That will allow them to have the same legal rights as someone who is married. But to ask that churches go against doctrine so that they can use the words, "married couple" is asinine. This is nothing more than trying to enact social change to values and morals. This is nothing more than trying to force people to ACCEPT something they DO NOT want to accept. Gays need to get over themselves and realize that the vast majority of people in this world do not agree with their perversions. Just be happy that people are willing to give you the civil union thing. Leave marriage alone...PERIOD.
Good, at least they will vote one way. Just like in NY, we need to call these politicians OUT one way or the other – no more having it both ways. I want equality but a homophobe hitlist in its place will do :)
Why would conservatives in Congress want to overturn a law passed by the District of Columbia? I thought conservatives wanted the Federal Government to stay out of our lives. Oh, that's right, conservatives want the government to stay out of straight people's lives only.
People listen up: Your religion does not trump a fellow American citizens civil rights. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW for all Americans. Since marriage is a legal institution entailing endless legal rights and tax privileges ALL Americans are entitled to it. Someone else's relationship is NONE of your business. The states that have it haven't fallen off of the map. Hating and discriminating against gay Americans is Christian bigotry pure and simple, nothing more nothing less.
This is the kind of issue that Conservatives love. They can cause the nation to waste a huge amount of time an energy debating a no-issue issue. Who cares? The only point of a legal marriage is to recognize the couple as an economic unit and to regulate inheritance and divorce. Let them marry, don't let them marry. It won't change anything in our world.
Conservative leaders love to debate personal morality, as if they cared about it. It doesn't change any corporation's profit margins. What about another flag burning amendment. We desperately need another one of those.
Opponents of gay marriage, including President Obama, could greatly weaken gays' and lesbians' arguments for it by making civil unions, which already exist in New Jersey, the absolute legal equivalent of heterosexual marriage.
I hope that all those voting today read the NJ State Constitution before doing so .. it guarantees equality for EVERY PERSON.
protect minorities by forcing the majority to accept a vote not made by them.
yeh. american democracy at work.
Gay marriage is just plane wrong to our christian society.