Advocates of equal marriage in the US state of New Jersey are moving gradually closer to overriding the state Governor’s veto of a bill to legalise equal marriage, officials have said.

The state currently allows civil unions, but Governor Chris Chistie vetoed a bill to legalise equal marriage back in 2012. He has since maintained that the issue should be decided at a referendum.

In the Senate, three more votes are needed, as well as 12 in the Assembly, in order to override Christie’s veto, but its supporters are confident that they can succeed.

Supporters point towards Republican legislators who have since changed their position on the issue, and a number of Democrats who were not present for the vote last year.

Two Republican lawmakers in the US state of New Jersey last week said that they will go against the wishes of Governor Chris Christie, and vote for an equal marriage measure when it comes to the state. 

The US Supreme Court in June struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and ruled that civil unions do not provide the same benefits as marriage.

The Governor of the US state of New Jersey in June said the opposite, and that the strike-down of DOMA “was wrong”.

Back in February, Democrats in the New Jersey legislature said they would attempt to override Governor Chris Christie’s equal marriage veto from last year, and have now agreed to put the question of marriage equality to voters in November, if they cannot override it.

When asked how he would react if another equal marriage bill came his way, Christie simply said: “I’ll veto it”.