Paris: French lawmakers have rejected a bill presented by the opposition Socialist Party seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.
The members of the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, turned down the measure by 293 votes to 222.
Opposition was led by President Nicolas Sarkozy`s governing conservative party UMP, while Socialists and other leftists supported the bill.
Supporters say it is needed to bring France into line with nearby countries like Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, which have already legalized gay marriage.
Earlier this year, France`s highest court ruled that laws banning gay marriage don`t violate the constitution.