Backers of gay marriage in New Jersey are calling on lawmakers to approve a gay marriage bill before Governor Jon Corzine leaves office in mid-January.

Corzine lost his bid for a second term as leader of the Garden State to Republican Chris Christie on Tuesday. During the campaign, Corzine promised the gay community if reelected he would push through – and sign – a gay marriage bill in the Legislature. Despite the loss, gay activists are pressuring lawmakers to approve the bill.

On Wednesday, Garden State Equality, the state's largest gay rights advocate, released a 60-second television commercial urging lawmakers to act on gay marriage.

“There's a new urgency since Christie was elected” on Tuesday, Steven Goldstein, the group's chairman, told

The bill is expected to be introduced by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, a Democrat from the Borough of Princeton. Democrats hold a slim majority in both chambers of the Legislature.

Results from Tuesday's election, however, might dampen enthusiasm for the plan which has been simmering for months. In Maine, voters disagreed with lawmakers and “vetoed” a gay marriage law signed into law in the spring. Gay marriage foes in New York successfully ousted Dede Scozzafava, a moderate Republican who supports gay marriage, off the Republican ticket in the 23rd Congressional District. And in New Jersey, Christie's win over Corzine could be interpreted as a rejection of gay marriage.

Christie, an opponent of gay marriage, warned that if Corzine signed a gay marriage bill during a lame-duck session, he would back an effort to put a gay marriage ban into the state's constitution once in office.

Corzine's allegiance to gay marriage supporters is also in question. The former U.S. senator publicly opposed gay marriage as recently as 2007.