New Jersey Judge Rules ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Is Consumer Fraud
SEXUALITIES, 16 Feb 2015
Jersey City-based conversion therapist group, which calls homosexuality a ‘disorder’, made male clients stand naked with other men to quell attraction.
11 Feb 2015 – A judge in New Jersey has ruled that claims of gay conversion therapy that describe homosexuality as a curable mental disorder are fraud.
Hudson County superior court judge Peter Bariso Jr said Tuesday in his ruling on a case involving the Jersey City-based Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (Jonah) that those claims are illegal based on the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. Bariso also said it’s fraudulent to offer “success statistics” because “there is no factual basis for calculating such statistics”.
“This is the principal lie the conversion therapy industry uses throughout the country to peddle its quackery to vulnerable clients,” David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said of homosexuality being described as a mental disorder. “Gay people don’t need to be cured, and we are thrilled that the court has recognized this.”
Jonah attorney Charles LiMandri said the group’s use of the word “disorder” was based on their interpretation of Jewish law and not intended to describe homosexuality as a psychological disorder. He said Jonah expects to win when the case goes to trial in June.
“They’re not your typical target of Consumer Fraud Act defendants who are making misrepresentations of people,” LiMandri said. “They’re just trying to help people who are in distress get help if they want it. If they don’t want it, that’s fine.”
The law center sued Jonah on behalf of four men and two of their mothers, who alleged their methods don’t work. The four men said they went through the therapy and were forced to do activities including being made to strip naked while standing in a circle with other men and to be naked with their fathers at bathhouses.
LiMandri said that the men didn’t complete the program.
Bariso also ruled last week that Jonah could not call on proponents to testify that homosexuality is an illness.
Republican governor Chris Christie signed a ban preventing licensed therapists from performing gay conversion therapy for patients under 18 in 2013. An appeal by two associations and therapists challenging the ban to the US supreme court is pending.
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
- Brilliant New Film ‘Pray Away’ Picks Personal Stories of ‘Ex-Ex-Gays’ to Expose Faith-Based Conversion Therapy as a Religious Sham
- Pope Francis Calls for Creation of Civil Union Laws for Same-Sex Couples
- Chechnya Is Trying to Exterminate Gay People--Our Silence only Emboldens Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov