Instead of tolerating other people’s religious beliefs, Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission took action against Ashers on behalf of gay rights activist Gareth Lee.

Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, which has divided opinion in Ulster, Mr McArthur said  “The reason for the decision was that, as Christians, we could not put that message on a cake.

“Gay marriage is clearly in contradiction of the Bible; Our Christian faith is of utmost importance to us,” he said.

“It is how we run our lives, it is how we live our lives, it is how we bring up our families: Before God, this is something we couldn’t make.”