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NEWS: Wales may get "ex-gay" ministry

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Wales may get "ex-gay" ministry


Wales may get "ex-gay" ministry

14th April 2008 12:10

Tony Grew

The controversial fundamentalist Christian Stephen Green has hinted that the controversial movement that encourages people to "pray away the gay" and become straight could be established in Wales.

Mr Green, who is notorious for his protests at gay Pride events, made his remarks in a BBC Wales current affairs programme, Week In, Week Out.

While being interviewed by H from Steps, also known as Ian Watkins, he told the former pop star, who came out in 2007, that he could "walk away" from homosexuality.

"The message from the Bible is no matter how you became gay, you don't have to stay gay," the preacher said.

"You could walk away from it ... there are healing ministries.

"We are actually actively thinking of enabling a sexual healing ministry in Wales."

Mr Green also rejected conventional wisdom about sexuality.

"I don't believe anyone is born homosexual," he said.

"God would not allow people to be born homosexual and then say don't do it.

"God doesn't have a laugh like that."

Ian 'H' Watkins publicly came out in January 2007 just before entering the Celebrity Big Brother house.

He revealed that he came out to his bandmates and family when he was 21, but was fearful of the reaction of fans and local people in his home village of Cwmparc in the Rhondda Valley.

Stephen Green is best-known as the head of anti-gay lobby group Christian Voice.

In 2006 he was cleared of public order charges after handing out anti-gay leaflets at Cardiff Mardi Gras.

Last year he protested at both London and Brighton Pride.

The H edition of Week In, Week Out, exploring gay life in Welsh valleys, has proved to be one of the most newsworthy documentaries of this year.

Green compared Mr Watkins to mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer in the documentary, which generated headlines.

"They are both against the word of God - sin is sin, sin is sin in the eyes of God," he said when challenge about the comparison.

Then, after transmission last month, a local magistrate agreed not to sit during the investigation by the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace in Mid Glamorgan after comments he made in the programme.

"I think probably it's a suspicion of the mainstream that they perhaps will interfere with young people and so on and that's historically been the case," Byron Butler said when interviewed in the street by the pop star as part of the documentary.

"But they do, don't they. That's the reality." After the programme was broadcast a complaint was made.

Mr Watkins told the BBC:

"I was dumbfounded by his comments, and I was even more shocked when I found out he is a magistrate sitting in judgment on people.

"There is no way I believe he can be fair and impartial with people when he makes comments about gay people being paedophiles. It is just so outrageous."

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