A new TV ad by New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman highlights his support for gay marriage.

The ad, titled Our Values, began airing Tuesday.

“Our Congressman Steve Rothman shares our Democratic values,” a female announcer is heard saying in the 30-second spot. “Steve was the first New Jersey Congressman to call for our troops to come home from Iraq. The first to endorse Barack Obama for president. And one of the first to stand up for marriage equality.”

“I'm Steve Rothman, and I approve this message, because I've always stood up for our progressive values and I always will,” Rothman says. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, New Jersey's largest gay rights advocate, applauded the ad.

“It certainly is the first time in the history of New Jersey that any candidate for major office has showcased marriage equality in a television ad,” he told NorthJersey.com. “It may well be a first nationally.”

Earlier this year, Fred Karger, a Republican candidate for president, released an ad in New Hampshire promoting his support for such unions.

Rothman's campaign said it has bought more than $500,000 worth of airtime for the ad.

New Jersey remains a battleground state on the issue of marriage equality. Activists have made overriding Governor Chris Christie's veto of a gay marriage law approved earlier this year by lawmakers a priority. A lawsuit is also making its way through the courts.