Coming out, publicly – lgbtiqX
Free speech also counts for speech that you hate and not just for speech that you like. Freedom of choice exists for those who want to make hard choices and not just those who take the easy way.
Supporting freedom of speech, freedom of choice and tolerance is therefore not always easy to do. The right to free speech was not created to ensure that only those who hold fashionable views and agree with the government can express themselves. Freedom of speech was established to ensure that the views despised by the trendy opinion leaders and government ministers can also be spoken about without fear of repercussions. If being an advocate of free speech means anything, it means that you are willing to defend the right of all to express all views that you don’t hold and and don’t like.
Likewise, freedom of choice exists to ensure the individual’s right to make unpopular and controversial choices. In the last two weeks, we have seen how the Minister of Equality and the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) have tried to silence and destroy a homosexual participant in a talent show, Matthew Grech, for having the temerity to make the unusual choice of abstaining from sex and expressing his choice on TV.
Their action is wrong. Matthew Grech has not jeopardised public safety or morals, endangered public order, created any health hazards or harmed anyone or taken away anyone’s rights. He has simply used his freedom to make an unusual choice and to express his beliefs regarding that choice.
I maintain the Christian view on marriage as an institution, ordained by God, to be the lifelong union between one man as husband and one woman as wife. But I will also defend the rights of those who hold other views on marriage to express their beliefs. I want homosexuals who believe in marriage between people of the same sex to have the same freedom of speech as those homosexuals who think that homosexual acts are sinful.
Being ‘pro-choice’, I believe that adults have the right to choose to engage in sex and the right to abstain from sex. They have the right to choose to celebrate their sexual identity/orientation and they must always be free to seek therapy for unwanted desires if their present state makes them unhappy or anxious.
With the Matthew Grech case, we have seen the MGRM’s absolute disregard for any choice that they disapprove of. They disregarded the right to express views that run counter to their agenda. Sadly, the Minister of Equality Helena Dalli shares their agenda and is also willing to crush anyone who publicly contradicts their common ideology.
Very few voters support their agenda. That they want to disregard the views of the majority and push their agenda on the country by any means is now beyond doubt after the recent release of a specific video. Minister Helena Dalli is shown at an international conference on LGBTIQ rights in which she is heard saying:
“In 2014, there was a poll which showed that 80 per cent were not in favour [of civil unions]… You know electoral programmes, it’s a package, and they [the voters] didn’t realise because we just put in ‘equality’.” [laughter] “It’s a major pillar for this government, you know… will forge ahead anyway.”
Thus, the Minister openly admits that voters were then purposely misled and unashamedly mocks those who did not realise her real intentions.
It is not strange, then, that they reserve their greatest hatred for those who hold to explicitly Christian beliefs. The reason is that Christianity is a belief system that is focused on standing by your beliefs and telling the truth and it does not accept anything that is imposed on us by trickery.
I was not expecting many to share my sentiments and stand when we aired Exodus programmes in this regard. In the programmes, I took the Minister and the MGRM to task for ignoring human rights and breaking the law in their exaggerated zeal to crush a Christian contestant simply because he made a choice and expressed his views. But the reaction to the programme proved me wrong. The Maltese population are fed up with attempts to censor and silence the majority and to whip us into inaction and submission by an extremist and dangerous minority who pretend to champion the gay community but who are actually doing it much harm. A deluge of viewers agreed that the Minister and the MGRM had gone way beyond the bounds of decency with their vitriolic attacks on Matthew Grech.
Obviously, both the Minister and the MGRM also have the right to exercise their freedom of speech. But freedom of speech is not without its limits and does not allow libellous slander, as demonstrated by their statements regarding Matthew Grech. They just cannot say that his comments were ‘homophobic’ or ‘advertised gender therapy’ when, clearly, they were neither homophobic nor an advert. Their comments were malicious, defamatory and misrepresentative.
In the programme, we promised to take legal action against the Minster and the MGRM if they did not apologise and retract their very harmful statements. Many legal minds made contact and confirmed our thinking, some offering – voluntarily and at no charge – legal pointers regarding how those statements breached Maltese law.
Encouraged by public support, our resolve has strengthened. Within the next two weeks we will be taking legal action against the Minister and the MGRM in order for this illegal bullying to stop once and for all.
Matthew Grech’s rights must be restored completely. Our rights must be restored completely and this practice of instilling fear must cease, which is what this fight for real equality is truly all about.