Colombia’s Constitutional Court has voted to uphold the sanctity of marriage in the country.
The court ruled 5-4 in favor of the Colombian Attorney General, Alejandro Ordonez Maldonado on Nov. 11. In its statement, the court said could not change the legal definition of marriage in Colombia, thus striking down a lawsuit filed by attorney Felipe Montoya Castro.
Montoya filed a lawsuit in September 2009 arguing that the words “man and woman” should be removed from the civil code in order to allow same-sex unions.
However, the court reaffirmed the wording that has been part of Colombian law since the 19th century. It defines marriage as “a contract through which one man and one woman unite together for the purpose of living together, procreating and mutually helping one another.”
The court said Montoya’s arguments that the traditional definition of marriage violates the right to equality, as well as the right to not be treated cruelly, were insufficient.
Ordonez said the plaintiffs in the case did not present “clear, certain, specific, pertinent and sufficient reasons” for changing the definition of marriage.
Same-sex unions in Latin America are only legal in Argentina and Mexico City.