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Marriage Vote Thursday for Jersey Senate

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With time running out for the New Jersey state senate to vote on marriage equality, NBC New York is reporting there will be a vote on the issue in the lame-duck session of that body on Thursday.

"We're gonna post the bill and see what happens," senate president Dick Codey told NBC.

Codey and sponsors of the same-sex marriage legislation have expressed doubt that there are enough votes for it to pass in the state senate. Codey has debated even allowing marriage to be put up for a vote.

"The members for the most part said go ahead and post it," Codey explained about coming to his decision, while acknowledging there was a minority of his fellow Democrats who urged him not to bring it to a vote.

Marriage advocates have been racing to win legislative approval of the bill before January 19, when Gov. Jon Corzine, who has promised to sign it, is replaced by Governor-elect Christopher Christie, who says he opposes it. If the bill passes the senate, it will have to go to a vote in the assembly before going to the governor.

Pro-equality activists are still hopeful, however. More than 150 of them gathered outside the statehouse on Monday, saying that the Democratic legislators who pledged to pass the bill will be held accountable if they fail to do so.

"Either we will be able to march up the aisle and have marriage equality, or we will march across the aisle and have political independence," said Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality.

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