Belfast Telegraph

Gay cure movie row group in new film about TV star who ‘left homosexuality’

Mike Davidson
Mike Davidson
Maltese reality TV star Matthew Grech
Victoria Leonard

By Victoria Leonard

The leader of a local Christian organisation has said people don't have to accept being gay if they don't want to as he announced the Belfast premiere of a film about a "former homosexual" reality TV contestant.

Last year the Core Issues Trust screened its so-called 'gay cure' film Voices Of The Silenced at Ballynahinch Baptist Church.

The event was picketed by protesters, who hit out at the movie's message about people "emerging" from homosexual lifestyles.

The film had previously been turned down for screening by Belfast's Queen's Film Theatre and The Vue in London.

Now the group has produced a second film featuring X Factor Malta contestant Matthew Grech, who Core Issues Trust leader Mike Davidson said "left homosexuality as part of his Christian testimony".

The film, Once Gay: Matthew And Friends, was funded and created by the trust.

It will be screened in Townsend Street Presbyterian Church on Valentine's Day, and Mr Davidson urged opponents to "come in and see the film" rather than protest outside.

"The film is being released around the same time as anti-conversion therapy film Boy Erased, starring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, and it is expressing a different point of view," Mr Davidson said.

"When Matthew Grech entered The X Factor and mentioned he had left homosexuality as part of his Christian testimony, there was an immediate and quite ferocious response.

"I hope that people will see that they have options.

"It's not that they were born gay and that's the end of the story, (and) there's nothing they can do about it.

"We are not victims of sexuality, we have choices."

Mr Davidson said his Ballynahinch-based group "doesn't practise conversion therapy", describing its actions as "psychotherapeutic and counselling support for unwanted same-sex attraction".

He added: "They (homosexuals who had approached his group) can get help for it, it's not just that they are victims and they must knuckle down and be gay." Rev Jack Lamb of Townsend Street Presbyterian Church said he wasn't concerned about potential protesters at the premiere.

"I want there to be the opportunity for people to accept those who say they are ex-gay, that once they were in a homosexual lifestyle and now they have left, rather than suggesting that 'once gay, always gay'," he said.

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