The Democratic nominee for a congressional seat in Pennsylvania has this week reversed his opposition to marriage equality.

Matthew Cartwright told The Times Leader last week the he saw “No reason to discriminate against gay people.They’re not a threat against anybody.”

He added that he was now unequivocally pro-marriage equality.

Mr Cartwright had previously told the same paper that he was not in agreement with President Barack Obama on the issue of marriage equality.

He said: “With respect to gay marriage, I’m not there yet.

“I’m very old school and old-fashioned. I’m not saying I’ll never get there.”

Mr Cartwright’s Republican rival to represent the people of the 17th District is Laureen Cummings – who is a member of the Tea Party.

Ms Cummings has been open about the fact that she supports neither marriage nor civil unions for LGBT couples.

Mr Cartwright defeated incumbent Congressman Tim Holden, also an opponent of gay marriage, in the state’s Democratic primary to proceed to the General Election.

Mr Holden’s district had previously leaned toward a Republican victory, but after a recent redraw the district now leans more toward Democratic.

The state got its first openly gay lawmaker earlier this year when Brian Sims, 33, won a Democratic State House primary, leaving him with an open path to election this November – unless an independent candidate decides to compete for the seat.