Gay marriage campaigners in the US state of New Jersey have announced they will go back to court to fight for the right.

A bill failed 20-14 votes in the Senate in January.

Gay group Garden State Equality and Lambda Legal announced today they would challenge the gay marriage ban through the state Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that gay couples must be granted all the rights of marriage and left the legislature to decide how this should be enacted.

Following this, civil unions were legalised. However, campaigners said at the time that they were not adequate.

They continue to argue that many employees in hospitals and insurance companies do not understand the concept.

Lambda Legal deputy legal director Hayley Gorenberg said: “The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered equality for same-sex couples when it decided our marriage lawsuit in 2006, and the legislature has failed to meet that crystal-clear obligation

“Civil unions are a failed legislative experiment in providing equality – marriage equality is the only solution.”

January’s vote was a last-ditch bid to push the bill through before new governor Chris Christie took office several weeks later.

Gay marriage campaigners are hopeful that the case will be heard soon, before Governor Christie can replace judges.

The latest Supreme Court judges were picked by former governor Jim Corzine, who supported gay marriage.