|Ex-gay group JONAH found guilty of consumer fraud|
And another nail has been hammered into the coffin of "ex-gay" therapy.
From The Washington Blade:
A New Jersey jury on Thursday found a group that promotes so-called “conversion therapy” guilty of committing consumer fraud under state law. The verdict came in a case brought against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing in 2012 on behalf of four men who underwent “conversion therapy.” The Southern Poverty Law Center, which filed the lawsuit, argued JONAH violated New Jersey’s consumer fraud law with its claims that gay men could become straight. The Associated Press reported jury awarded the remaining three plaintiffs and two parents $72,000.
“This verdict is a monumental moment in the movement to ensure the rights and acceptance of LGBT people in America,” said Southern Poverty Law Center Deputy Legal Director David Dinielli, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “Conversion therapy and homophobia are based on the same central lie — that gay people are broken and need to be fixed. Conversion therapists, including the defendants in this case, sell fake cures that don’t work and can seriously harm the unsuspecting people who fall into this trap.”
Filed in 2012, the complaint said that the young men were required to stand naked as part of their therapy and, in one exercise, were told to wrestle away oranges representing testicles from each other. In another exercise, a client said he beat an effigy of his mother with a tennis racket until his hands bled.
In February, Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso Jr ruled in a pre-trial decision that the jury could not hear testimony from conversion therapy proponents, including Joseph Nicolosi and Christopher Doyle, who argued that homosexuality is a disorder.
“[T]he theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel but — like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it — instead is outdated and refuted,” Bariso ruled at the time.
The jury’s verdict found that JONAH must refund thousands of dollars paid by former clients for violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, NJ.com reported.