Former senator and presidential GOP candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday warned that the Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage were paving the way for the “death knell” of marriage.

The high court decisions handed down Wednesday mean that California will become the 13th state, plus the District of Columbia, to allow gay nuptials, and that the federal government must recognize those unions.

Santorum made his comments in an interview with NewsmaxTV.

“If the court does what it seems obvious they are doing. When they say that you can't be opposed to the redefinition of marriage unless you're a hater or bigot, then it seems pretty obvious to me that when another case comes up that they're going to establish some sort of constitutional right or find that marriage is unconstitutional in its current form. That to me will put the death knell in it.”

Santorum, however, said that he remained optimistic for his side, saying that as more people see the effects of marriage equality, opposition will grow.

“I think that when people begin to see the consequences of the changing of the marriage laws and the impact on children, the impact on marriage and on families and on civilization, I think you'll see this issue begin to turn back around and go in our favor again,” Santorum said. (The audio is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)