NJ State Senate OKs Gay Marriage Bill

The measure is also expected to pass in the Assembly on Thursday.

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    NBC New York
    Gov. Chris Christie says he'll veto the bill if it comes to his desk, giving proponents nearly two years to try to muster enough votes to override it.

    New Jersey's state Senate has passed a bill to recognize gay marriage. 

    Monday's 24-16 vote was the first time either chamber of the state Legislature has passed such a bill. A previous measure failed in the Senate in January 2010, the only other time gay marriage has come up for a vote in New Jersey.   

    But the latest vote doesn't mean that same-sex nuptials will be a reality in New Jersey soon.

    Gov. Chris Christie says he'll veto the bill if it comes to his desk, giving proponents nearly two years to try to muster enough votes to override it.   

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    If that happens, the Legislature would have until January 2014 to try to override his veto in the current session with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

    A vote is scheduled in the Assembly for Thursday.

    Christie's pushing for a public vote on whether to allow gay marriage. But supporters say it's not right to put a civil rights issue on the ballot.