France's lower house of parliament
rejected a gay marriage bill on Tuesday, the AFP reported.
The Socialist-sponsored measure was
blocked by a 293 to 222 vote in the UMP Party-controlled National
Opposition in the chamber was led by
President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP Party. Sarkozy said he was opposed
to altering the country's marriage laws.
In January, France's
constitutional authority upheld the country's ban on marriage between
members of the same sex, but added that it is up to parliament to
France recognizes gay and lesbian
couples with civil partnerships, a union that confers fewer rights
than marriage. France, the UK and Germany are among Europe's most
powerful – and in many ways liberal – nations yet to adopt gay
A recent Canal Plus TV poll found a
majority (58%) of respondents favor the institution, up six
percentage points since 2006.
Earlier this month, a
lesbian couple became the first gay couple to marry in France.
The women were able to circumvent the country's ban because one of
them is a transgender woman who is still, legally, a man. The women
called their marriage a “symbolic” victory.