Ex-Gay Man Faces Charges for Sharing His Testimony About Finding Freedom in Christ
A Christian charity worker is facing criminal charges for allegedly promoting “conversion practices” in his own country during an online interview about how he chose to leave his former homosexual lifestyle after finding salvation in Jesus Christ.
The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) reports it is representing Matthew Grech who faces up to five months in prison and almost $5,500 in fines if convicted.
The faith-based nonprofit law firm called Grech’s case “the first-ever prosecution for ‘conversion practices’ in Malta.”
His trial is scheduled for Feb. 3 at the Court of Magistrates in Valletta along with the hosts of a local free speech media outlet, PMnews Malta.
His legal problem began after he told his “ex-gay” testimony during an online interview, that was advertised on Facebook.
During the media interview, he shared his story about his childhood and the confusion he had experienced when it came to his own sexuality and relationships. He spoke about how, as an adult, he had been involved in homosexual relationships before becoming a Christian, which changed his life dramatically.
Grech spoke about how he does not agree with the term “conversion therapy” and said that the deeper he went into his Christian faith and exploring the Bible, the more “I understood that in the Bible, homosexuality is not an identity as we make it nowadays. And neither is it a feeling, but a practice.”
“This means that no matter what sexual feelings a man or a woman is experiencing if they have sexual relations with a person of the same sex, they commit the homosexual act in God’s eyes, and that is a sin,” he explained. “Just like every other sin, one can repent from it and ask God for forgiveness and ask Him for strength to overcome… I’m talking here from a Christian perspective…”
At no point during the interview did Grech invite any listener to attend therapy or encourage anyone to get help for unwanted same-sex attraction. This is backed up by a transcript from PMnews Malta.
After the interview, police pressed criminal charges against him for allegedly advertising conversion practices. The prosecution order he received accused him of advertising “conversion practices” and violating “article 3 ( a ) ( iii ) of Chapter 567 of Maltese laws.”
Article 3 of Malta’s draconian Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Gender Expression Act, states:
“It shall be unlawful (a) for any person to: (i) perform conversion practices on a vulnerable person; or (ii) perform involuntary and, or forced conversion practices on a person; or (iii) advertise conversion practices; and, or (b) for a professional to: (i) offer and, or perform conversion practices on any person irrespective of whether compensation is received in exchange; or (ii) make a referral to any other person to perform conversion practices on any person.”
The two PMnews Malta hosts are also facing a similar charge, according to the CLC.