French parliament rejects gay marriage bill

14th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

France's lower house of parliament Tuesday rejected a bill that would have allowed gays to marry.

The house, dominated by the ruling right-wing UMP party, voted by 293 votes to 222 to block the bill, with most left-wing lawmakers backing it and most of the right opposed.

"We are against homophobia but we do not want to alter the image and function of marriage in the collective subconscious," said UMP lawmaker Michel Diefenbacher.

Opposition Socialist party lawmaker Patrick Bloche had called the bill a measure to end a form of discrimination and "pass to a new stage in equality of rights."

Several of France's fellow European Union member states, including Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, have legalised homosexual marriage.

© 2011 AFP

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