The New Jersey Senate yesterday rejected a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state with a 20/40 vote against the motion striking a serious blow for gay rights advocates. “After an hour and 40 minutes of heartfelt speeches, just 14 senators voted in favor of the bill, with 20 opposed. Twenty-one votes were needed for passage. Gov. Corzine, who supported the bill, said he was disappointed. ‘Most assuredly, this is an issue of civil rights and civil liberties, the foundation of our state and federal constitutions,’ Corzine said. ‘Denying any group of people a fundamental human right because of who they are, or whom they love, is wrong, plain and simple.’ While the result was expected, gay-rights advocates had hoped the Garden State could become the sixth state to allow gay couples to marry, after Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Instead, New Jersey became the latest state to issue a setback to gay couples wishing to marry. Late last year, voters in Maine overturned a law allowing same-sex marriages, and last month the New York Senate voted against allowing gay couples to wed. California voters overturned same-sex marriage in a 2008 referendum.”