Have you heard of the International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice?
It’s basically a London-based network for professionals who believe LGBT people can and should be aided to convert their sexual orientations if they so please.
And Malta is now in its crosshairs, after Equality Minister Helena Dalli criticised River of Love worship leader and former X Factor Malta contestant Matthew Grech for his comments about how he had turned away from his previous “homosexual lifestyle” to follow Jesus.
“Regrettably, the Minister made the law her pretext for launching an unprecedented personal attack in the press on Matthew Grech, a Maltese citizen who shared his personal journey away from a homosexual lifestyle through becoming a Christian in an interview broadcast on ‘X Factor Malta’ in October 2018,” the IFTCC said in an official complaint to Malta’s High Commissioner to the UK Joseph Cole.
The IFTCC is hosting the premiere of Matthew Grech’s ‘Once Gay’ film in Belfast
“She argued that his interview could lead young people who want to ‘come out’ to attempt and even commit suicide. Indeed she went as far as attacking his desire to marry a woman and thus implied change from predominantly homosexual attraction to at least a degree of heterosexual attraction was ‘irresponsible and duplicitous’. This is nothing less than an attack on the individual’s right to marry, as enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.”
The IFTCC went as far as to call on Malta to repeal a law, passed in 2016, which banned so-called ‘conversion therapy’, a practice which the World Psychiatric Association has denounced as unscientific, unethical and harmful.
“The law violates several fundamental freedoms enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to respect for private and family life and other rights such as clients’ right to self-determination in exercising therapeutic choice,” it argued.
“In reality, the Minister of Equality’s statements and newspaper opinion article were attacks on the dignity and rights of all people who have left LGBT self-identification and lifestyles. This was the first time in history that a government minister in any country launched an attack targeting an ex-gay person.”
In 2016, @MaltaGov made conversion practices in #Malta a thing of the past.
All MPs supported my Bill making all sexual orientations, gender identities & gender expressions equal in front of the law.A good day for #HumanRights@ILGAEurope @free_equal @BHCStuartGill pic.twitter.com/9hPc0tCJpA
— Helena Dalli (@helenadalli) February 12, 2019
“It is all the more significant given that the Minister in question was responsible for passing the law under consideration, and thus reveals the real restrictions on the aforementioned rights as always having been intended.”
Dalli brushed off the Federation’s concerns in a simple tweet, describing the day Malta’s Parliament unanimously banned ‘conversion therapy’ as “a good day for human rights”.
The IFCC will this Thursday host the premiere screening of ‘Once Gay’ in Belfast, a documentary by Matthew Grech about his right to be an ex-gay.