Republican politicians in New Jersey are calling for a constitutional amendment in 2010 to allow voters to decide whether gay marriage should be legal.

Democrats in the state Legislature are currently attempting to get a vote on equal marriage rights after the November ballot.

However, Republican politicians are arguing that the issue is important enough to be decided by voters rather than officials.

According to the Star-Legder, Gregory Quinlan, director of government affairs for New Jersey Family First, said at a news conference yesterday: “Thirty states, three-fifths of the United States, have voted to amend their state constitution to make marriage one man, one woman.

“And I sincerely believe that would happen here in New Jersey if the people had the right to vote.”

If successful, the move would see the issue on the November 2010 ballot, with voters being asked whether they favoured a constitional amendment banning gay marriage.

Democrat governor John Corzine said last week it was unlikely he would support a ballot question on the issue, instead preferring that it be decided by elected officials.

“I understand this is a deeply divisive issue,” Corzine said. “All people are created equal.”