Q Radio News
There was a police presence during a protest outside a Belfast church on Valentine's night.
It was held at Townsend Presbyterian Church during the screening of a film demonstrators claimed promotes "gay conversion therapy."
The event organisers said they don't endorse the controversial practice.
But John O'Doherty of the Rainbow Project has told Q Radio the so-called gay cure message is dangerous...
A woman calling herself 'Kylie from Malta' attended the screening.
She said she hasn't had conversion therapy, but claimed her life has been changed by religion...
Valentine’s night at Townsend St. Presbyterian Church in Belfast...screening of ‘Once Gay - Matthew & Friends’ story of X Factor Malta contestant Matthew Grech. Organisers say they don’t endorse “conversion therapy.” Protesters not impressed...@johndoc240 @TRPNI @GreenPartyNI pic.twitter.com/ZDeh4sNi9G— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) February 14, 2019
.@johndoc240 @TRPNI at protest outside Townsend St. Presbyterian Church Belfast screening of ‘Once Gay - Matthew & Friends.’ More from both sides on air am. @AllianceLGBT @Micky_Murray @allianceparty @GreenPartyNI pic.twitter.com/pXaZmM5UKT— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) February 14, 2019
The Presbyterian Church has issued a statement about the event:-
Statement in relation to screening in Townsend Street Presbyterian Church of ‘Once Gay: Matthew and friends’.
A spokesperson for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland said, “From the outset as a Church, we again affirm that all people are loved, valued and cherished by God and we continue to reject homophobia in all its forms.
“The Church recognises that ‘conversion therapy’ is both an emotive term and is defined differently by different people. However, two things are very clear. Firstly, no ‘therapy’ of any kind should be undertaken against a person’s will. Secondly, where a person chooses to seek help from a counsellor, then it is legitimate for such help to be provided.
“As a Church we believe that God is sovereign and acknowledge that He can change an individual’s life and personal circumstances with regards to any situation, as many Christians will readily testify. As with any private and personal matter, it is essential that those who seek pastoral support can do so in a safe, loving and caring environment where they are given an opportunity to be able to talk and pray about their situation.
“With regards to the use of church property, this is a matter for local congregations and not a matter for the Church centrally. In this instance, local permission has been given for a particular film to be screened and a protest has been organised against the screening. Both, while remaining within the law, are legitimate actions in a free society.”