New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's signature on a gay marriage bill remains a viable option, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said in unveiling the proposed legislation on Monday, The Star-Ledger reported.

Christie, who supports the state's civil unions law, has previously threatened to veto a marriage bill if it reaches his desk.

Sweeney, however, believes the governor could be persuaded to back the measure.

“It's going to be a fight,” said Sweeney, a Democrat. “We expect it to be a fight. The governor's a decent person, and I think we can work on educating him to the fact of what it means.”

He added during the press conference introducing the bill that he made a mistake in opposing the legislation in 2010.

“It's not easy to admit when you make mistakes,” Sweeney told reporters. “I made a terrible mistake. A political calculation. And I didn't look at the issue for what it was. Marriage equality is not about religion, because there's exemptions for that. It's about civil rights. It's about everyone having the same rights to get married and to be happy.”

“I made a mistake,” he added, “but I can tell you I'm going to fix that.”

Sweeney said the bill would go to the appropriate committee “immediately.”

New Jersey is the third state behind Maryland and Washington to announce the introduction of a gay marriage bill during the upcoming 2012 legislative session.