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New Jersey senate marriage equality vote imminent

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The New Jersey state senate is currently debating the state's proposed marriage equality bill. Click here to watch live video coverage of the debate.

Should the bill receive the 21 votes needed to pass, the state assembly will vote on the legislation on Monday. Gov. John Corzine, who lost his reelection bid in November, has promised to sign the bill in the lame-duck session. Taking office on January 19, Governor-elect Chris Christie has vowed to veto any legislation granting marriage rights to same-sex couples.

However, only 13 out of 40 senators have thus far publicly supported the bill, with five out of 23 Democratic senators in opposition.

If the legislation passes, New Jersey would become the sixth state to recognize marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian Fenty signed a gay marriage bill into law in December, though the legislation is subject to a 30-day congressional review period. Thirty-seven U.S. representatives and two senators, including Oklahoma's James Inhofe and Mississippi's Roger Wicker, have recently called for a voter referendum on the law.

Protests for and against the bill are expected outside the New Jersey capitol in Trenton.

Check back to Advocate.com for updates as the day continues.

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