The host of X Factor Malta, Ben Camille, took to Instagram yesterday to address the issue of gay ‘conversion therapy’. This is in response to the continued outrage at the singing contest for showing a clip in which a contestant claims to be “ex-gay” and calls same-sex marriage a sin.
Camille identifies as straight but proved himself to be an ally to the LGBT+ community as he shared the message on Instagram live:
“I can’t believe we’re talking about this in 2019 as if being gay is some kind of illness […] If you’re a boy or a girl and you feel you have not yet come to terms with your sexuality, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
“Nothing would hurt me as much…it kills me…to know that there is a boy out there who is worried to express, due to the fear of being physically or mentally bullied by someone else, it’s scary.”
In 2016, Malta became the first country in the European Union to ban ‘conversion therapy’.
The contestant who claims to be “ex-gay” is the subject of the film, Once Gay: Matthew and Friends, which was produced by Core Issues Trust, a Christian group based in County Down.
Last year, protests were held in Belfast and Down ahead of a planned screening of the film which promotes conversion therapy to members of the LGBT+ community.
The film continues to hold screenings around the UK and Ireland and is targetting members of the LGBT+ community with Facebook ads related to the film.
One of our readers sent us this screenshot which shows a sponsored post of a video with Matthew promoting the film.
Last year in Ireland, legislation was launched which aims to prohibit conversion therapy, as a deceptive and harmful act or practice against a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression.
Under the proposed legislation, a person found guilty of performing, offering or advertising conversion therapy will be liable to a fine of up to €5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
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