X Factor Malta Contestant's Audition Pulled From Facebook And Youtube After 'Gay Conversion' Backlash

'Religious homophobia is alive, well and aired freely on national TV'

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X Factor Malta has already got a lot of people feeling a lot of ways, but one hopeful contestant's pre-audition interview has led to his videos being pulled from Youtube and Facebook just minutes after his audition aired.

Matthew Grech, a singer, a vocal teacher and member of the anti-gay Christian group River of Love, spoke about his personal beliefs as a former gay man before converting to serve Jesus. In his comments about the LGBTQI lifestyle and love in general, he said that any marriage other than that between a man and a woman is a "sin".

"I used to lead a homosexual lifestyle, and then I found God," he said right before his audition. "For a long time I stopped following my passions to follow Jesus. There can be love between two men and two women, yes - but only friendship love. Everything else is a sin."

Grech, who is a member of the infamous gay conversion religious fellowship River of Love, sang the chorus of Black Eyed Peas' "Where Is The Love" along with two other singers

Though judge Howard Keith said the group's harmonies weren't perfect, he gave Matthew Grech a yes, as did Ira Losco and Ray Mercieca. Alex Alden gave him a no, though no-one mentioned his anti-gay comments.

The episode also featured an audition by Kim Cortis, who excitedly talked about her upcoming engagement to her female partner. She was given four yeses.

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Pictured: Matthew Grech

Within minutes of his audition being aired, social media was flooded with comments complaining that TVM had aired his words without any context or warning

The advertising or promotion of gay conversion was made illegal in Malta in 2016, leading some to wonder if TVM broke Maltese law by airing his views.

Whilst videos of most of the other contestants' auditions remain online, Grech's was quickly taken down following the end of the episode

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Pictured: His audition video was taken down

Prominent commentators and politicians called out TVM for airing such views

And others called out X Factor itself

Some people lamented how far Malta had come in recent years, only to see these comments on national TV

While others re-affirmed what true love really means

However, one person's reminder that this is nothing Malta's gay community hasn't heard before drove home just how damaging these comments can be

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What do you think of the contestant's comments?

READ NEXT: Illum Editor Apologises After Newspaper Caricature Sparks Claims Of Homophobia

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Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]