The highest court in Colombia has controversially ruled that the word "family" is not longer to be used only to address one's own kin or marriage, and the decision is causing serious backlash among pro-family groups like the Catholic church.
On April 20, Colombia's Constitutional Court declared that given the varied living situations of couples today, a new definition of family needed to be produced.
"The family bond is achieved through the reality of diverse situations, among them the free will to form a family, apart from the sex or orientation of its members," ruled judges.
"Therefore, it is clear that heterosexuality or differences of sex within the couple, and even the existence of one, is not a definitive aspect of the family, much less a requirement for its constitutional recognition," the judges continued.
The judge's decision is creating a backlash from pro-family organizations in the country who feel the judges are overstepping their bounds and legal right in order to change the definition of family in the country's constitution.
"The Court is taking steps like a cascade, in which one step brings another and [the judges] are doing what they want," the Catholic bishop of the city of Fontibón said, according to the Christian Telegraph.
In the court's ruling they cited the increasing number of single-parent families, as a result of divorce or out-of-wedlock sexual relations, as a defense for the courts inclusion of homosexual unions in the definition of family.
"The extent of superior protection of family relationships are circumscribed by different options of biological or social formation of the same, within which monoparental or biparental models are incorporated, or simply that which is derived from simple relationships of childrearing."
"Therefore, insofar as the existence of a couple isn't consubstantial with the institution of the family, neither can the sexual orientation of its member be so."
For the judges, the traditional idea of family is not solely required to define family, but Catholic bishops feel differently.
"From one moment to the next the Court pulled out an ace from its sleeve and by magic it is saying that it changed the concept of family," Fontibon's bishop told the Christian Telegraph.