TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey's state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, the latest in a string of setbacks for advocates.
The defeat, by a vote of 20-14, likely ends any chance that the state Legislature approves gay marriage soon. Five senators did not vote; there is one Senate vacancy.
Gay rights advocates had been pushing hard for the bill because on Jan. 19, new Republican Gov. Chris Christie takes office and he has vowed to veto a gay marriage bill. Outgoing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine had promised to sign it into law.
It was a major effort to get the bill to a full Senate. A vote was canceled last month when it appeared the measure would be defeated there. It wasn't until Tuesday that Senate leaders decided to allow the vote.
New Jersey offers civil unions that grant the legal rights of marriage to gay couples.