BY ANGELA DELLI SANTI, ASSOCIATED PRESS
TRENTON, N.J. -- The New Jersey Assembly on Thursday passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriages, setting the stage for an expected veto by Gov. Chris Christie.
The 42-33 vote sends the bill to Christie's desk. The Republican governor who opposes gay marriage had promised "very swift action" if the bill passed both houses of the Legislature. The Senate approved the bill Monday.
Christie and most state Republican lawmakers want gay marriage put to a popular vote. Democrats say gay marriage is a civil right protected by the Constitution and not subject to referendum.
Six states and Washington, D.C. recognize gay marriages. Washington State's new gay marriage law is scheduled to take effect in June.
However, 30 states have adopted constitutional amendments aimed at preventing gay marriage, most by defining marriage as a union between man and woman.