Former US federal judge Robert Bork, known for his extreme homophobic views, has died at the age of 85.

As solicitor general under President Richard Nixon, he was the White House’s top lawyer.

Bork was a controversial figure in American politics and certainly no friend of the LGBT community.

In 1984, he wrote an article saying: “private, consensual homosexual conduct is not constitutionally protected.”

Bork also wrote another piece opposing a law that would require businesses to serve African Americans.

He was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, only to be eventually rejected by the Senate after contentious debate.

He told a House Committee in 2004 that the legalisation of same-sex marriages in Scandinavia had triggered a decrease in heterosexual marriages and an increase in children born to unwed parents.

Bork served as a senior legal adviser to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney this year.

He died of complications from heart disease at a hospital in Arlington, Virginia, on Wednesday 19 December.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who is also known for his deeply anti-gay beliefs, described Bork as “one of the most influential legal scholars of the past 50 years”.

Bork was a judge on America’s most prestigious appellate panel, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, from 1982 until 1988.

Earlier, he had been a private attorney and a Yale Law School professor.

At Yale, two of his constitutional law students were Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham (Clinton).

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to preside over California’s long-running equal marriage dispute, in a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.