The judge who today struck down Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban was previously endorsed by notoriously anti-gay Republican Rick Santorum.

Judge John E Jones struck down the state’s ban today, writing: “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

Jones was appointed as a judge by Rick Santorum, a Republican former Presidential candidate who claims same-sex marriage will ‘disintegrate’ families, and pledged to invalidate all gay marriages if elected.

In 2002, then-Senator Rick Santorum had delivered a speech warmly praising Jones as an “outstanding” lawyer, at the judge’s Senate confirmation hearing.

He said: “John Jones is another outstanding lawyer and has served not just as an outstanding lawyer, but served the community beyond the practice of law.

“[He] has just done an outstanding job for Governor Ridge, and now Governor Schweiker, in an appointed position in that regard.

“It shows his commitment to public service, but he has also been, as Senator Specter noted, an outstanding litigator, an outstanding attorney in Schuylkill County.

“He also went to the same law school I went to. So he also has an outstanding legal education.”

Santorum reaffirmed last April that he still held his anti-gay beliefs, claiming it would be “suicidal” for the Republican party to ever be seen to back equal marriage.

(h/t Good As You)