Malta: Formerly gay Christian man faces jail accused of promoting ‘conversion therapy’
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – In the first criminal case of its kind, a formerly gay Christian man in Malta is facing trial and a possible prison sentence for allegedly promoting ‘conversion therapy’ that helps people dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction, the Christian Post (CP) reports. Malta banned all such counseling and therapy in 2016, becoming the first country in the European Union to institute such a prohibition.
Matthew Grech, 33, a Maltese charity worker and trustee of the Core Issues Trust, was interviewed online by a local free speech media outlet PMnews Malta in April last year, CP reports.
During the interview, Grech stated that, as a Christian, he believes engaging in homosexual acts is a sin in God’s eyes. Grech added that homosexuality can be repented of and forgiven by God like any other sin. Moreover, Grech said God can help the person who has repented to overcome homosexuality.
According to Christian Concern, the UK advocacy group which is supporting him through his trial, Grech did not invite or encourage those listening to the interview to seek counseling or therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction, CP reports.
Nevertheless, both Grech and presenters at PMnews Malta have been indicted to stand trial on 3 February at Malta’s Court of Magistrates in Valletta, CP said. If found guilty, Grech could be imprisoned for up to five months and/or be fined $5,000.
Grech has claimed he has been targeted by members of the Malta Gay Rights Movement who reportedly contend that the promotion and discussion of traditional Christian views on marriage, human identity, and LGBT lifestyles should be considered a criminal offense, CP said.
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