TRENTON - Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature announced today that they will introduce a gay marriage bill, the "Marriage Equality Act," this week. They say they are confident they have enough votes to get the bill out of the Legislature. The bill failed in the state Senate two years ago. But Senate President Steve Sweeney, who didn't vote for it then and has regretted it since, is sponsoring the measure. Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) has said he's no fan of same-sex marriage. But gay rights activist Steven Goldstein says he wants to see the bill approved and sent to the governor, even if Christie's unlikely to sign it.

In order to override Christie's power to veto the bill, all Democrats and a few Republicans must pass it. Longtime gay marriage advocates say the time is right and that attitudes have changed since this issue last came up.

New Jersey would become the seventh state to allow gay marriage.