New Jersey judge rules homosexuality isn’t a disease, so conversion therapy is fraud

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

New Jersey judge rules homosexuality isn’t a disease, so conversion therapy is fraud:


A New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled this week that homosexuality is not a disorder, disease or mental illness, and as a result, therapists who claim to offer conversion therapy are committing acts of consumer fraud. 

This is the first time a U.S. court has ever affirmed that homosexuality is not a disease. It’s part of a consumer fraud lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), a group that claims to offer anti-gay conversion therapy services. 

“This ruling is monumental and devastating to the conversion therapy industry,” said David Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. “For the first time, a court has ruled that it is fraudulent as a matter of law for conversion therapists to tell clients that they have a mental disorder that can be cured. This is the principal lie the conversion therapy industry uses throughout the country to peddle its quackery to vulnerable clients. Gay people don’t need to be cured, and we are thrilled that the court has recognized this.”
The judge also ruled that JONAH is in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act if it offers specific success statistics for its services when “client outcomes are not tracked and no records of client outcomes are maintained” because “there is no factual basis for calculating such statistics.” Evidence at the upcoming trial this summer will show that JONAH has misrepresented that their conversion therapy works based on bogus statistics.
“The judge’s determination today that it is a misrepresentation to tell consumers that homosexuality is a disorder is an important step forward in this case and also a victory for showing that conversion therapy proponents lack any valid basis to continue to promote their abusive practices,” said SPLC co-counsel James L. Bromley, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. “The harmful myth that gay people are sick or damaged belongs in the dustbin of history.”

That last sentence, though. 

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