By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

BOGOTÁ, November 16, 2010 ( – In a surprise decision, Colombia’s ultraliberal Constitutional Court has refused a request to impose homosexual ‘marriage’ on the South American nation.

In a 5-4 verdict issued last Friday, the court refused to rule on a suit requesting the Court to change the nation’s civil code to permit ‘marriages’ between people of the same sex.

Article 42 of the Constitution of Columbia states: “The family is the fundamental nucleus of the society. It is constituted by natural or juridical bonds, by the free decision of a man and a woman to contract marriage or by the responsible desire to make one.”

The current civil code reflects the Constitution’s traditional definition of marriage, stating that marriage is “a contract by which a man and a woman unify for the purpose of living together, procreating and helping one another.” For now, it will remain intact, although the court’s failure to render a verdict leaves the door open to a future ruling on the matter.

The court’s refusal to act runs counter to a string of recent judicial decrees it has issued, overturning prohibitions against abortion in cases of rape and requiring all schools to teach a homosexualist and abortionist sexual education program. The unpopular decisions are provoking a backlash of protests and have prompted the nation’s Conservative Party to launch a campaign to amend the constitution to protect the right to life in all cases.

Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

Prominent Political Party Launches Campaign to Restore Right to Life in Colombia