The Star-Ledger

TRENTON -- The state Senate rejected a same-sex marriage bill today, a major victory for opponents who contend the measure would infringe on religious freedom and is not needed because the state already permits civil unions.

The 20-14 vote defeating the measure followed an hour and a half of public debate inside the packed Senate chamber. The nearly thousand supporters and opponents of the bill held rallies on the Statehouse steps.

The measure fell seven votes short of the 21 needed for passage.

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