NJ Senate passes gay marriage bill

The New Jersey Senate passed a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry despite the fact Republican Governor Chris Christie has promised to veto it, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

The Democratic-controlled state Senate voted 24 to 16 on Monday in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, CNN reported.

The State assembly was expected to approve the measure and send it to Christie on Thursday.

Monday's vote comes the same day Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill making Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Gay marriage bill clears Washington state Senate; heads to the House

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Loretta Weinberg, said "It's time for New Jersey to get on the right side of history and enact true marriage equality for every one of our residents."

Although the bill has support in the legislature, it is unlikely to garner the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

Before the vote Senate President Stephen Sweeney urged Republican lawmakers to vote for the bill and not support Christie, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Now is your moment. Now is the time to stand up and say yes,” Sweeney said.

More from GlobalPost: The Rainbow Struggle – A global battle over gay rights

Gay marriage is already allowed in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont plus the District of Columbia.

Christie wants to put same-sex marriage before New Jersey voters in November.

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