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TV talent show accused of silencing ex-gay contestant's testimony
Footage of a talent show contestant discussing how he left behind a homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian has reportedly been removed from social media following complaints.
A pre-audition interview Matthew Grech gave to X Factor Malta last week disappeared from Facebook and YouTube, as critics complained it should never have been aired on television.
The singer also said same-sex marriage was a sin, during an interview which opponents said amounted to advertising gay conversion therapy on a state-funded TV channel - TVM.
The Maltese Equality Minister, Helena Dalli was quoted by the Lovin Malta news website as saying: "That interview should never have been aired in the first place.
"It did untold damage to our efforts to change social attitudes towards minorities, including LGBTQ youths.
"Gay youths don't need forgiveness or healing, they need understanding."
A statement released by television show bosses and seen by the Malta Independent website said footage of Grech's interview was not intended to cause offence, nor did it reflect the opinions of show producers.
But, a writer in Britain associated with the campaign and advocacy group Christian Concern said there was danger the experiences of people like Grech will be "censored" by "LGBT voices".
Carys Moseley said: "According to the Maltese press, LGBT activists and their allies managed to get the video clip of the interview taken off Facebook and YouTube within minutes.
"They also slammed the judges of X Factor Malta for not criticising Matthew Grech's comments about homosexuality and God's pattern for marriage.
"It appears that they expected music judges to judge the beliefs and attitudes of contestants as well.
Currently in its first series, X Factor Malta is the Maltese version of the popular British television programme The X Factor which created by Simon Cowell.
Grech was part of a cappella group which impressed judges with its rendition of Where is the Love by Black Eyed Peas. They progressed to next stage of the competition.
He is also part of the Christian music group Royal Seed Music.
Gay conversion therapy has been banned in Malta since 2016.
Premier has contacted X Factor Malta for a comment.
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