Spanish Church defends bishop in 'gay cure' controversy

Spain's Roman Catholic Church on Friday defended a bishop whose diocese near Madrid is being investigated after a newspaper reported it ran "courses" to "cure" gay men of their homosexuality.

The regional government of Madrid said Tuesday it was investigating whether the diocese of Alcala de Henares had broken anti-homophobia laws after online newspaper El Diario reported a journalist posing as a gay man trying to change his sexuality attended a counselling session provided by the diocese.

The newspaper said the diocese has allegedly been running "illegal courses" to "cure" homosexuality since 2009 when Juan Antonio Reig Pla, who has a long history of speaking out against homosexuality, became its bishop.

A handful of protesters, some of them draped with the rainbow flag of gay pride, protested against the bishop inside Alcala de Henares' cathedral on Tuesday evening just before mass was due to start. They chanted "leave Alcala" and "love doesn't have a cure, hate does" before police arrived and ordered them to leave. Read more via France24