The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has said he won’t follow New York in legalising gay marriage.

Mr Christie, a Republican, said he was “not a fan” of allowing gay couples to marry and would be pursuing civil unions instead.

Speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press, he said: “In our state, we’re going to continue to pursue civil unions. I am not a fan of same-sex marriage. It’s not something that I support.”

“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman,” he added. “I wouldn’t sign a bill like the one that was in New York.”

New Jersey gay rights campaigners say gay couples must be allowed to marry and claim that insurers, hospitals and other public services would not recognise or understand civil unions.

A gay marriage bill failed in the Senate last year. Earlier this month, the state’s only openly gay lawmaker, Democrat Assemblyman Reed Gusciora called for a new push for marriage equality.

New York legalised gay marriage on Friday and the victory is a substantial one for gay marriage campaigners across the US. However, Minnesota is set to ask voters whether there should be a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2012 and North Carolina lawmakers are considering a similar move.