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BOGOTÁ, Colombia, November 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In what local media are calling a “historic” decision, last week Colombia’s highest court made it legal for same-sex couples to adopt children.

After the ruling, the justices released a statement declaring that denying a child a family “based only on a person’s or a couple’s sexual orientation, represents an unacceptable restriction to the child’s rights, and is contrary to their superior interest, protected by the Constitution.”

“A person’s sexual orientation or their sex are not in themselves indicators of moral, physical or mental suitability to adopt,” stated court president, Maria Victoria Calle, in a press conference.

According to Calle, “excluding these types of couples from potential adoptees implies a limitation to the children for them to have a family.”

“There has not been a valid conclusion that shows minors suffer any affectation by being adopted and growing up in a same-sex family environment,” she explained.

A recent study by American sociologist Paul Sullins concluded that “Emotional problems [are] over twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents.”

When his study was published last January, Sullins confidently declared: “It is no longer accurate to claim that no study has found children in same-sex families to be disadvantaged relative to those in opposite-sex families.”

Another study published in 2013 by a Canadian researcher found that children in same-sex households were only 65 percent as likely to graduate from high school as those living in traditional opposite sex marriage families.

Reactions came on Thursday, November 5, when the Colombian Episcopal Conference issued a release saying the Colombian bishops “lament and reject the recent decision made by the Constitutional Court of Colombia.”

“We firmly believe that with the Constitutional Court’s decision, the rights of minors are being undermined,” said the bishops. Adoption, they declared, “is above all a measure for the protection of the child and should never be considered a ‘right’ of those who adopt.”

The Evangelical Confederation of Colombia also expressed their rejection of the Court’s decision by publishing a press release declaring the ruling as “contrary to democracy and against human nature.”

The court, they said “has violated the rights of a whole country to benefit a minority.”

Both Catholics and Evangelicals called for a national referendum to vote on the matter, and both churches’ leaders urged their faithful to manifest themselves peacefully against the recent ruling.

Same-sex couples in Colombia cannot marry but may be united by civil unions. On February 2015, the law allowed for homosexuals to adopt as long as the minor was their partner’s biological child. The new law will allow homosexuals to adopt without any restrictions.