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Archbishop of Malta calls gay conversion therapy a ‘no go’

By Troy Nankervis

Malta’s Archbishop Charles Scicluna has clarified comments made by the Catholic Church about a bill to ban gay ‘conversion’ therapy currently being debated by the country’s parliament, after the country’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat slammed the Church for their “unacceptable” and “disappointing” position on the issue.

“Any conversion therapy which forces someone to go against their decisions or their life choices is just a no go – a no go – and I want this to be absolutely clear,” Scicluna told the Times of Malta.

While Muscat had previously said the bill was designed to prohibit therapy that viewed homosexuality as an illness requiring treatment. a paper published by the Catholic Church over the weekend (February 20) said the “discriminatory” bill protected “a category of people finding it hard to come to terms with their condition”.


“Specifically seeking to change, repress or eliminate the orientation of a person from homosexual to heterosexual would be made a criminal offence by the Bill,” they wrote.

“But it would be perfectly legitimate to assist a heterosexual to become homosexual. That homosexuals and heterosexuals are afforded the same legal standing and protection is perfectly legitimate. This Bill does not do that.

“If the Bill is turned into law it will affirm the superior status of homosexuality over heterosexuality.”

The Malta Gay Rights Movement added the Church’s position as described in the paper was “profoundly flawed” for both its practical and legal interpretations.

“All persons have a sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression therefore no discrimination applies here,” a spokesperson said.

“While it is more likely that conversion practices are experienced by LGBTIQ persons due to heterosexism and strongly prescribed sex and gender norms in our society, the bill simply seeks to ensure that all persons, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression are valued equally.”

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