Paris, Jan 28 (Agencies): France’s homosexual marriage ban was upheld by country’s constitution court on Friday. The court said it found no conflict between the law by the constitution.

The court made the ruling in response to a bid by a lesbian couple, who have four children, to marry after spending 10 years in a PACS, or civil union.

Same-sex marriage is permitted in Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Spain, according to the Council of Europe.

The court said that two articles in the French civil code which stipulate that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, were constitutional.

The lesbian couple's lawyers are hoping the decision will now encourage lawmakers to draw up a parliamentary bill on homosexual marriage, which could make the issue a theme in next year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

The couple, Corinne Cestino and Sophie Hasslauer, currently enjoy tax benefits and other financial advantages because they are in the legally recognised civil partnership known here by its acronym PACS.

But they say they should be entitled to further benefits that marriage would bring.

"Marriage is the only solution in terms of protecting our children, sharing parental authority, settling inheritance problems and eventual custody if one of us were to die," the couple said.