The Christian bakery at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ row is to appeal against a discrimination ruling. 

Belfast county court ordered Ashers Baking Company to pay £500 in damages for “injury to feelings” following its refusal to bake a pro-gay marriage cake last year for would-be customer Gareth Lee.

The Christian Institute, which backed the bakery and paid court costs, confirmed the McArthur family would be appealing the decision.

The family told The Guardian: “After much careful and prayerful consideration given to legal advice, we have decided to appeal the judgment handed down last Tuesday. We continue to insist that we have done nothing wrong as we have discriminated against no individual, but rather acted according to what the Bible teaches regarding marriage.

“As many other people have already noted, Christian beliefs seem to have been trampled over in this judgment and we believe this only has negative effects for our society. Our hope and prayer would be that an appeal will allow us and other Christians to live out their faith in Jesus Christ in every part of their lives, including their workplace.”

The McArthurs’ religious beliefs were acknowledged prior to the ruling, but it was not seen as fair to refuse to bake the cake as the McArthurs conduct their business for a profit - it is not a religious organisation.

Since the ruling Tesco, which stocks some Ashers products has said it will consider the judgement and Ashers itself has reduced its services.