Tonio Fenech earns Facebook battering with ‘God doesn’t make people gay’ post

Former PN finance minister goes out on a limb by posting story of ‘ex-gay’ who found Christ and got married to a woman

Former minister Tonio Fenech is facing a social media backlash after posting a link on his Facebook about an ‘ex gay’ man who found religion and married a woman.

Fenech posted the Christian news item ‘I was gay, but I found Christ and now I’m married to a woman’ on Facebook at 2am, only to find himself at the receiving end of an avalanche of opprobrium, receiving 109 – almost entirely condemnatory – comments at the time this article was written.

“Christ is not gay medicine, Christ loves gays as he loves anyone irrespective of their sexual orientation,” reads one. “Are you serious? Do you know how much harm you are doing with this post? I expected better from you…or not,” says another. Brikkuni frontman Mario Vella succinctly posted: “stupid and ignorant.”

Fenech's reply to a Facebook user
Fenech's reply to a Facebook user

The former PN finance minister is a member of the lay Catholic Voices Malta group, which serves to better communicate the Catholic message in the media, but he has often courted controversy because of his religious views.

In the past Fenech, speaking in the House on the divorce referendum bill which the Nationalist Party was against, said that the ‘Holy Virgin was crying for Malta’ as the country contemplated the introduction of divorce.

He later broke ranks with the PN leadership in a letter to former leader Simon Busuttil and the rest of the parliamentary group explaining his anger and disappointment at the position adopted over the Marriage Equality Bill.

But instead of battening down the hatches this time, Fenech went all-in, replying to one of his detractors by saying that: “God does not make people gay. God created us in his image and likeness. God loves gay people, but that does not mean he condones homosexual acts. As much as God does not condone sex before marriage or outside of marriage between a man and a woman. God loves us all, despite all of us being sinners, but he invites us to be better. This is what the Catholic Church teaches.”

Fenech could not have chosen a worse time to quote the Church, less than an hour after Malta’s bishops released a call for a more inclusive society for minorities. That call was made with xenophobia in mind, but parallels will now inevitably be drawn between xenophobia and homophobia, the Church’s record on the latter only recently improving.

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