TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey's state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, leaving it unlikely the state will have a gay marriage law in the very near future.
The bill needed 21 votes to pass; only 14 senators approved the measure Thursday.
Gay rights advocates had pushed hard to get the bill passed before Jan. 19, when Republican Chris Christie becomes governor. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine promised to sign the bill if approved by the Legislature but Christie has said he would veto it.
New Jersey offers civil unions that grant the legal rights of marriage to gay couples. Five states – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont – allow gay marriage.