Notoriously anti-gay Republican Rick Santorum is refusing to comment, after a judge he endorsed decided to strike down Pennsylvania’s marriage ban.

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

According to ThinkProgress, the former Presidential candidate, his spokesperson, and his organisation Patriot Voices are all refusing to comment on the decision.

In 2002, Santorum warmly endorsed the judge at his senate confirmation hearing, saying:  “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 also went to the same law school I went to. So he also has an outstanding legal education.”

Santorum earned a reputation for anti-gay remarks during the 2012 Republican Presidential primary, claiming that same-sex marriage will ‘disintegrate’ familiesand pledging to invalidate all gay marriages if elected.

He 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.

However, Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told ThinkProgress that Santorum’s silence could be an attempt to move away from the issue entirely.

He said: “The push for same-sex marriage nationally is moving much faster than many in the Republican Party, including Rick Santorum, ever thought it would, and now the GOP is trying to internally rectify the changing landscape because their position hurts them primarily with voters under 40 – those same voters they need in the tent if they want to win the White House in 2016.”

The first marriages in Pennsylvania are due to take place over the weekend.