Costa Rica's constitutional court has blocked a referendum that would have let voters decide if same-sex civil unions should be allowed in the Central American country.
The court said Tuesday a referendum would put a minority at a disadvantage in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.
The court said the rights of minorities should be decided by the Costa Rica's lawmakers, not by a popular vote.
The referendum was originally scheduled for December 5.
Last month, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.
Mexico's Supreme Court ruled last week that same-sex weddings are constitutional in the capital, Mexico City.
In Uruguay and Colombia, civil unions are approved nationwide.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.