Costa Rica’s High Court Protects Minority, Blocks Referendum on Gay Civil Unions

Some excellent news out of Costa Rica, where the country's highest court has blocked a referendum that would have allowed the majority to vote on the rights of the minority, the AP reports:

Costarica "Costa Rica's top court has blocked the electoral tribunal from holding a referendum that would have let voters decide if same-sex civil unions should be allowed in the Central American country.
The Constitutional Court's 5-2 decision released Tuesday says such a referendum would put a minority at a disadvantage in a largely Roman Catholic country. It also says gay civil unions is a legislative issue and not an electoral one.
The court says it considers homosexuals a group that is at a disadvantage and the target for discrimination, requiring government authorities to protect their rights."

Said the court in a statement: "Minority rights that are derived from claims against the majority cannot be subject to a referendum process where majorities are needed…people who have relationships with individuals of the same sex form a group that is subject to disadvantages and discrimination, and require the support of public authorities to obtain their rights.""

Conservative groups had collected more than 150,000 signatures in support of the referendum, which was to take place at the beginning of December.