The Christian owners of a guesthouse who were ordered to pay a gay couple £3,600 after refusing them a double room are to appeal the decision, it emerged today.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull claim they are facing financial ruin after losing a legal battle against civil partners Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall.
They were found guilty of discrimination at Bristol County Court last week and ordered to pay Mr Hall, 46, and Mr Preddy, 38, of Bristol, £1,800 each.
The couple refused to allow them to share a double room which they had booked at the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion, Cornwall, in September 2008.
Mrs Bull, 66, and her husband Peter, 71, say the policy applies to all unmarried couples and is a crucial part of their Christian beliefs.
They claim they have now become the victim of a hate campaign and the hotel has been flooded with booking enquiries from gay couples.
Mrs Bull has also received a number of menacing calls which have left her fearful while her 71-year-old husband is recovering in hospital from heart surgery.
She said: ”I’m not a prude but I’ve been left shocked and hurt by the language used.
”One told me I was an abomination and would go straight to hell.
”These people know nothing about me or my lifestyle, and I’ve been astounded by their cruelty.”
Mrs Bull revealed the couple may now be forced to close the guesthouse, which she had run for 24 years with her husband.
She added: ”I feel so upset. It is like we are being driven out.”
It is believed the The Christian Institute is providing financial and legal support for the appeal, which is likely to be heard later this year.