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French Parliament Rejects Gay Marriage Bill

France’s lower house of parliament rejected a bill to legalise gay marriage by 293 votes to 222.

The Associated Press reports:

French lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a bill presented by the opposition Socialist Party seeking to legalize same-sex marriage, despite growing public support for gay rights.

The vote reflected opposition to gay marriage among President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing conservatives and the strain of traditional values that runs through many parts of France ? away from the gay-friendly bars and neighborhoods of Paris.

The National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, turned down the measure by 293 votes to 222. Opposition was led by Sarkozy’s UMP, while Socialists and other leftists supported the bill, which said “marriage can be contracted by two people of different sexes or of the same sex.”

Supporters say France has fallen behind the curve on gay rights, as nearby countries like Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands have legalized gay marriage.

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