November 29, 2012
From Coast to Coast, Lawsuits Duel over Reparative Therapy for Gays
New Jersey suit alleges Consumer Fraud Act violations; California suits challenge state ban for minors.
A new lawsuit charges an Orthodox Jewish group, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), with state-level consumer fraud in New Jersey for "providing conversion therapy claiming to cure clients of being gay."
Meanwhile, practitioners of reparative therapy are challenging the state of California, claiming its recent ban of the treatment for gay minors violates their religious freedom.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed suit on behalf of four gay Orthodox Jews who claim that JONAH's reparative therapy—also known as "gay conversion" therapy—violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act through "deceptive practices." According to the SPLC, this is the first fraudulent-practices lawsuit against any conversion therapy provider.
In October, the California state legislature voted to ban reparative therapy for minors, citing harmful side effects.