Late Friday afternoon, a Mercer County judge ruled that gay couples must be allowed to legally marry in the Garden State beginning Oct. 21. The Christie Administration has vowed to appeal the decision. Today, top Democrats in the State Senate are explaining what happens next.

Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images

“We’ve heard the Governor (Chris Christie) has already announced he’s going to appeal so we’re calling on the courts today, the (State) Supreme Court to take this issue up now,” said Sen. President Steve Sweeney. “They can. They Should. By Oct. 21st people should know yes or no. We know it’s going there so there should be no delay. We’re calling on the Supreme Court to take action immediately.”

Other top Democrats are joining Sweeney in his call for a quick hearing. They’re also asking Christie to drop his lawsuit. Sweeney says work continues behind the scenes to muster up enough votes to override the Governor’s previous veto of a bill that would’ve legalized same-sex marriage in New Jersey.  Democrats have failed in every previous attempt to override a Christie veto.

“The Governor knows there is no way he can win this appeal,” insists Sen. Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. “He should drop this.”

Steve Sweeney speaks at Democrat press conference on gay marriage ruling (Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media NJ)

In an emailed statement Friday, Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak, made it clear how the Administration feels.

“Governor Christie has always maintained that he would abide by the will of the voters on the issue of marriage equality and called for it to be on the ballot this Election Day,” wrote Drewniak. “Since the legislature refused to allow the people to decide expeditiously, we will let the Supreme Court make this constitutional determination.”