A Christian couple are set to appeal a ruling which said they acted illegally by disallowing a gay couple to share a room in their B&B.

Peter, 70, and Hazelmary Bull, 66, were ordered to pay damages to Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy after ordering the men to sleep in separate rooms at the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Cornwall in 2008.

The Bulls were ordered to pay the couple £1800 each in damages at Bristol Crown Court for sexual orientation discrimination under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007.

The Bull’s defense was paid for by The Christian Institute, with legal fees thought to have topped £45,000. The B&B owners said they have a long-standing policy of banning all unmarried couples, whatever their sexual orientation, from sharing a bed at their hotel.

Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, told ITV: “Obviously there are some finally balanced legal issues in this case and I think it is important our higher courts have the opportunity to look at this issue.”

He added: “A lot of Christians are looking at this case with great concern and they do believe their beliefs have been squeezed from public life.”

The appeal is expected to take place later this year.