France’s parliament has rejected a bill that sought to legalise same-sex marriage in that country.

The bill received 293 votes against and 222 votes for in the lower house of parliament, which is dominated by the ruling UMP party.

The UMP says that it opposes homophobia but argues that the traditional definition of marriage as a heterosexual institution should be retained.

Same-sex partnerships have some legal recognition in France through ‘Pacte civil de solidarité’ (PACS), a form of registered domestic partnership that was instituted in 1999.

PACS do not, however, grant all the same rights and benefits as marriage.

France is lagging behind some of its European counterparts when it comes to marriage equality.

Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have legalised same-sex marriage in Europe.

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