The Malta Independent 21 February 2019, Thursday

Matthew Grech demands government and MGRM apology after audition clip was removed

Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 13:00 Last update: about 5 months ago

X Factor contestant Matthew Grech has demanded that the government and the Malta LGBTIQ Rights Movement (MGRM) issue an apology for putting pressure on the state broadcaster to remove not only the interview he gave to X Factor, but also his audition clip on the show.

"They have stopped me from expressing my beliefs, and showing my true talents", Grech told Inewsmalta.  He added that this was openly against the law, as confirmed by the European Court of Human Rights.

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He also called for leaders of MGRM and other LGBTIQ movements to "show tolerance" and to not twist his message around.  Grech said that there were a lot of mis-understandings with his initial message, and that no article had properly explained what he had meant.

Matthew Grech raised controversy after his audition on the musical talent show X Factor, where he used his pre-audition interview to explain how he had led a "homosexual lifestyle" in the past, but had then "found God".  Grech is a vocal teacher and also a member of the religious group River of Love. 

"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 said in the clip shown before his audition was aired by Malta's national broadcaster TVM.  

The interview was seized upon by social media, and drew widespread condemnation from prominent figures within the LGBTIQ sector and the government alike. 

The Government in fact released a statement following the airing of the show, condemning any "homophobic" comment and said that the broadcast of such a clip did great damage and put at risk many youths who are vulnerable for gay conversion practices.

The interview along with Grech's audition was initially uploaded to X Factor Malta's social media accounts, but following the backlash both clips were deleted.

Speaking to Inewsmalta, Grech said that he believed he was exemplary in the sense that as a Christian one should not be afraid to share their faith, even if "the crowd of lions" rise against them. He said that many people from different countries were thanking him for "choosing to love God".

Grech clarified that his message had nothing to do with sexual orientation, but was related to sexual practice.  He said that these should be considered separately.  Grech appealed for parents with LGBTIQ children to show love and sincere empathy, as "confronting the fact that one is not heterosexual is a delicate and emotional process".

Asked what he thought of homosexuality, Grech quoted part of the Bible which speaks of homosexuality in the context of the New Testament; "The homosexuality described here does not refer to sexual orientation.  This means that God does not see any form of sexual orientation as a sin within itself.  God loves us, and He cannot condemn us for something which we had no choice on.  However, homosexuality refers to romantic or sexual relationships between people of the same sex."

Grech added; "Every romantic or sexual relationship between people of the same sex is, as said in the word of the Lord, considered as sin.  The good news is that whoever wants to find peace in God, whatever he or she did, can recognise Jesus as the son of God, sincerely confess his or her sins, and choose to make God the leader of his life". 

He also appealed to Christians to not be intimidated and to defend their right to free speech.  He called for politicians to make the voices of the ex-gay movement in Malta heard, saying that this movement was one of those which is being abused and discriminated upon the most in society.

He said that once a person is forgiven, he or she can pass from the darkness and into the light.  Grech said that God is personified in love and justice, and called for all Maltese and Gozitans to recognise that which he sent; his only Son.  He concluded that everyone has, in some way or another, fallen short of what is expected of him, but that Jesus is the only hope we have in sitting alongside the Holy Father.

 

 


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