Charity trustee charged with illegally promoting ‘gay conversion therapy’


The trustee of a UK charity will appear in court in Malta on 3 February as one of the first people in the world to be charged with promoting ‘gay conversion therapy’.

Matthew Grech, 33, is a trustee of the County Down charity Core Issues Trust and lives in Malta.

He was charged in the wake of an interview he gave to the island’s PMnews programme, the Times of Malta reported.

Grech, along with two presenters, will appear in court charged with breaching Maltese laws banning the promotion of ‘conversion therapy’.

In the online interview, Grech spoke about his childhood and how as an adult he had gay relationships before becoming a Christian.

He said that when he became a Christian, his views changed and he believed homosexuality was not an identity but a practice.

He outlined his belief that sexual relations with a person of the same sex was a sin and said it was possible to ask God for the strength to overcome it.

Grech, who insisted he did not promote conversion therapy and was simply sharing his own experiences, said: “Anyone who cares about freedom of speech should be alarmed by what is happening to me.

“If it happens to me in Malta, I assure you that it will soon be happening in the UK and other countries across the world.”

Grech faces a possible maximum fine of €5,000 or up to five months in prison if convicted of violating Article 3 of Malta’s Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender and Gender Expression Act, which makes it “unlawful for any person” to “advertise conversion practices”.

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