Bruce Springsteen, who was born in New Jersey, has released a message in support of gay marriage in the state.

He said he had been following the progress of a bill which would allow the right. It will be voted on on the state Senate later today.

In the message, he said: “Like many of you who live in New Jersey, I’ve been following the progress of the marriage-equality legislation currently being considered in Trenton.

“I’ve long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same-sex couples and fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that ‘The marriage-equality issue should be recognised for what it truly is – a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.’

“I couldn’t agree more with that statement and urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.”

Governor Jon Corzine has said he will support gay marriage, although governor-elect Chris Christie, who takes office next month, has said he will veto the bill.

Christie is said to be a keen Springsteen fan.

The bill passed a Senate Judiciary Committee vote 7-6 on Monday but Democrats have admitted they may not have the 21 votes needed to pass it through the Senate.