Legislators in New Jersey voted this week to reject a same-sex marriage bill, stifling hopes for marriage equality in the Garden State for at least the next four years.
The state Senate voted 20-14 Thursday afternoon to defeat the measure. Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R) will take office Jan. 19 and has pledged to veto any marriage-equality bill proposed during his tenure.
Hundreds of supporters and opponents of the bill gathered at the Statehouse in Trenton throughout the day Thursday, and a smattering of applause broke out after the vote, which was preceded by two hours of debate.
The bill had been in limbo for about a month after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it Dec. 7. The measure was scheduled for a full Senate vote in mid-December but was abruptly pulled because of a lack of votes and sent to the Assembly for a hearing. Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D) announced last week that he would not bring the bill up for a hearing until the Senate approved it.