By Kathleen Gilbert

TRENTON, New Jersey, January 05, 2010 ( – The president of the New Jersey Senate Tuesday announced that the full Senate will consider a bill to legalize homosexual “marriage” at a voting session scheduled for 2 p.m. this Thursday.

“Given the intensely personal nature of this issue, I think the people of this state deserve the right to a formal debate on the Senate floor,” said Senate President Richard Codey in a press release published on the Senate Democrats' website.

The announcement came as the state's lame duck governor, Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine, prepares to hand over his office to Republican governor-elect Chris Christie. Christie, unlike his predecessor, has vowed to veto any same-sexl “marriage” bill – leaving advocates scrambling to pass the bill before Christie's inauguration January 19.

State legislators have largely declined to publicize their positions on the bill; however, many speculate that the measure's chances are slim. According to Matt Rooney, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Young Republican Federation and a leading state political commentator, passage “appears extremely unlikely” with 16 projected “yes” votes against 21 “no” votes.

After a New Jersey Senate committee approved the legislation 7-6 in early December, homosexual “marriage” advocates abruptly cancelled a scheduled vote in the upper chamber to try for a vote in the left-leaning state Assembly first. But those hopes were dashed last week, when Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts said the lower house would not act on the bill without Senate approval.

New Hampshire officially became the 5th U.S. state to recognize homosexual “marriage” on New Year's Day, as officials began handing out marriage certificates to same-sex couples following June's passage of a law dismantling traditional marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Iowa also recognize homosexual “marriage”.

See related coverage:

Gay “Marriage” Vote Killed in NJ Senate

NJ Committee Passes Same-Sex 'Marriage' Bill: Senate Vote Expected Thursday