TRENTON - Days after New York lawmakers legalized gay marriage, gay rights advocates are working to get it recognized in New Jersey.

Lambda Legal filed a suit today on the behalf of seven gay couples and Garden State Equality.

The suit claims the state's civil union law that was intended to give gay couples the same legal protections as marriage has actually created an unconstitutional separate designation.

The plaintiffs say others don't understand their civil unions. That's resulted in partners having trouble being allowed to make medical decisions at hospitals for their loved ones.

Gov. Chris Christie says the state should instead improve the civil union law. Christie has said he would not sign a same sex marriage bill in New Jersey.

AP wire services contributed to this report.