Two Spanish clerics, one Protestant, the other Catholic are under fire by gay rights organisations for their homophobic views.

Protestant minister Marcos Zapata is to face an investigation by the Galicia regional government into the organisation he runs that claims to helps troubled youth. It is claimed that he recently hosted a seminar called “How to Raise Heterosexual Children”.

According to media at the seminar, Senor Zapata likened homosexuality to alcoholism and claimed it was an illness that could be healed through family therapy. He advised the audience to “hug your sons as much as you can, because if you don’t, perhaps another man will”.

The regional government has said it is firmly against “any type of proselytising or homophobic attitudes.”

“After so many legal victories in this country, and for the first time people are talking openly about homosexuality in schools, we have to deal with fundamentalist groups which take us back to the Franco dictatorship,”Toni Poveda, the president of the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals told The Guardian. “And of course we are going to try to stop this from happening. Sexual orientation is innate and there’s no way to change it.”

Meanwhile, the Catholic bishop of the Canary island of Tenerife claimed in an interview that “homosexuality harms society, and we will pay for it.” He also compared homosexuality to paedophilia and drug addiction.