TRENTON, NJ - The New Jersey Assembly passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage on Thursday, sending the bill to Republican Governor Chris Christie, a possible vice-presidential candidate who has promised to veto the measure.
The Assembly vote of 42 to 33 followed Senate approval on Monday and increased the scrutiny on Christie, a supporter of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney who has attempted to deflect controversy by saying the matter should be settled by voters in a referendum.
Both chambers lack the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto by Christie blocking gay marriage, a hot-button social issue that is gaining traction in the 2012 U.S. presidential election campaign.
In Maryland, the House of Delegates delayed until Thursday evening its debate on the contentious "Civil Marriage Protection Act" sponsored by Governor Martin O'Malley, who is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
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