Maltese Christian faces jail for publicly rejecting homosexuality
Do you remember the young Christian man from Malta who spoke at the Lithuanian Family Movement on 22 October 2022? In the protest rally in Vilnius Cathedral Square with the slogan „Defend the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania“? And how many were not satisfied with why he spoke and sang? How many said to us “why do we need this”?
And very few have made the effort to understand that this is not just any young man from Malta. Matthew Grech is a man from our future, because what he said is coming to Lithuania. In his homeland, he is already facing jail for his views and his public rejection of homosexuality.
Police charged Grech, a trustee of the Core Issues Trust and X-Outloud, after the 33-year-old shared his experiences in an interview with PMnews Malta, a media outlet with a free-speech policy, in April last year. Two of the programme’s presenters have also been criminally charged.
On 3 February. Matthew Grech will stand trial at the Valletta Magistrates‘ Court and could be sentenced under Maltese law to five months in prison and a fine of €5 000. This is believed to be the first case of its kind that will have an impact on case law beyond the Republic of Malta.
„Anyone who cares about freedom of expression should be concerned about what is happening to me,“ Matthew told the media, „if it is happening to me in Malta, I assure you that it will soon happen in the UK and other countries around the world.“
The Lithuanian Family Movement addressed a letter to the President of the Republic of Malta.
SOURCE: Šeimų Sąjūdis. “Maltos krikščioniui gresia kalėjimas už viešą homoseksualumo atsisakymą. [Maltese Christian faces jail for publicly rejecting homosexuality]” Šeimų Sąjūdis, 5 April 2023, accessed at https://seimusajudis.lt/naujienos/maltos-krikscioniui-gresia-kalejimas-uz-viesa-homoseksualumo-atsisakyma/
The article presents a case of potential media manipulation by portraying a Christian man from Malta as a victim of the suppression of free speech on LGBTQ+ issues. While it is important to acknowledge that individuals should be allowed to express their beliefs and opinions, it is also important to recognize that such speech should not lead to the marginalization or discrimination of others. The article fails to provide sufficient context about the Maltese law and the specific statements made by Matthew Grech that led to his charges. Firstly, the article suggests that Grech is facing jail time solely because of his public rejection of homosexuality; however, this is not true, as Grech is charged with “promoting gay conversion therapy” . Malta has made significant strides in LGBTQ+ rights in recent years, becoming the first European country to ban conversion therapy in 2016 . However, the article does not mention nor explain the reasons behind banning conversion therapy and focuses on the punishment that Grech might be facing instead. After presenting the story as an alarming precedent of essentially banning free-speech, the article proceeds to incite fear by using doom-mongering: “what he said is coming to Lithuania”, “anyone who cares about freedom of expression should be concerned”. By using scare tactics, the article attempts to generate more opposition towards anything related to liberal views or “genderist propaganda”, as the organization has stated on several occasions in the past .
-  https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/matthew-grech-summoned-court-for-promoting-gay-conversion-therapy.1007823
-  https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/1424343/same-faces-different-protests-anti-lgbt-rallies-in-lithuania-organised-by-same-pro-kremlin-activists-lrt-investigation
About the source:
The article is sourced from the website of the Lithuanian organization „Šeimų Sąjūdis“ („The Movement of Families“) – a conservative, pro-family and anti-LGBTQ+ movement that advocates for traditional family values and opposes the liberalization of laws on marriage, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The organization was founded in 2017 and its website provides news and information on various events and campaigns organized by the group. Their articles are written in Lithuanian and primarily target the Lithuanian-speaking audience. It is considered to be a conservative and right-wing organization, and its views have been criticized by many human rights groups and organizations.