A Christian councillor who voted against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples and was then expelled from Brighton and Hove City Council’s Green group is to appeal the decision.

Councillor Christina Summers went against party lines in August when the Greens were discussing the government’s plans to introduce equal marriage by 2015.

The Green Party took the decision to expel the councillor on Monday and said in a statement that Ms Summers had the right to make an appeal.

During a Brighton and Hove City Council debate on 19 July, Ms Summers said: “When you touch marriage, you’re touching family, and you’re hitting at the very heart of God, and I have an enormous problem with that”.

Last Tuesday, an inquiry by the Greens recommended that Ms Summers be expelled from the party due to her wider conduct.

Ms Summers told the BBC  last week that the Greens were discriminating against Christians, but the party said it defended free speech and freedom of beliefs.

The councillor, who supports civil partnerships, but not same-sex marriage, said:

“It’s discriminatory against Christians. It’s a typical symptom of prejudice, blatant prejudice.

“It raises a big question – can Christians serve in the public realm? They are saying don’t bring your faith into politics.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton and Pavilion, spoke to PinkNews.co.uk earlier this month about her “disappointment” at Ms Summers’ conduct.