A contestant on the Maltese version of the musical reality series "X Factor" has drawn backlash after he declared on the show that homosexual "love" is "sin" and that he left the lifestyle after he found Christ.
Matthew Grech, a singer and vocal coach, appeared on "X Factor Malta" Sunday night. In a video interview segment that played before his performance, Grech declared: "I used to lead a homosexual lifestyle, and then I found God. 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."
According to the Times of Malta, Grech's pre-audition interview led to his audition video being pulled from YouTube and Facebook quickly after his audition was aired by national broadcaster TVM.
"X Factor Malta" distanced itself from Grech in a statement saying that the organization wanted to make it "very clear that no part of Matthew Grech's original audition was intended to cause offence, nor were the views expressed those of the producers of the program."
Additionally, the Times of Malta reports that after backlash to Grech's televised comments, the Maltese government felt compelled to release a statement assuring that sexual orientation and gender identity were protected by law on the Mediterranean archipelago. The government also condemned the practice of what it derisively called "conversion therapy" in which people with unwanted same-sex attraction seek counseling.
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