A petition intending to delay the passage of equal marriage laws in Luxembourg by forcing a referendum has failed to gather enough signatures.

Luxembourg’s same-sex marriage bill, which was passed by Parliament’s legal affairs committee last month, was widely expected to go to a vote next week.

However, conservative groups had made a last-ditch attempt to stall the measure, launching a petition calling for the measure to be scrapped, or brought to a public vote.

Opponents of same-sex marriage had six weeks – until June 14 – to gather the 4500 signatures required on the online petition, but managed to collect just 3188.

The group behind the petition, named ‘Schutz fir d’Kand’ (Protector of the child), says it has another 1150 signatures on paper, but even if the two totals could be combined, the group would still fall short.

It had claimed: “Depriving children of a coherent lineage, these projects will radically transform the family and therefore society.

“Promoting affiliation of intent with respect to the biological parentage will weaken family ties, to the detriment of all.”

Luxembourg has a population of 530,000, meaning that less than 1% of people signed the petition.

Mars Di Bartolomeo, president of the Chamber of Deputies, has ruled out allowing an extension to the deadline, and a vote on the equal marriage and adoption bill is expected to take place on Wednesday.

Sixteen countries currently permit same-sex marriage.