Archives for November 2012

Conversion Therapists Won’t Stop Despite Lawsuit

Conversion Therapists Won’t Stop Despite Lawsuit

Despite the fact that four men have brought a lawsuit against prominent conversion therapists in New Jersey, conversion therapists are coming out loud and clear with this message: They won’t stop practicing conversion therapy until they are legally prevented from doing so.


Conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, is a practice that is denounced by the APA, the American Psychiatric Association, as unhealthy and unethical. Conversion therapy is based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder or a form of spiritual sickness and can be corrected through therapeutic methods. Proponents of conversion therapy claim they can make gay men and women straight (or at least decrease sexual urges to the point of being manageable – meaning to the point where a gay man or lesbian might be able to deny his or her sexuality and remain celibate) through a variety of therapeutic methods.


Lawsuit
The lawsuit against JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing) is a consumer fraud lawsuit, claiming JONAH promised to make these four men straight, and instead caused them emotional pain and distress without results. A lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center is representing the four clients in the case. Go SPLC!

You can read more about the lawsuit against JONAH here.


Conversion Therapist Response
You’d think the people at JONAH would back off a little, seeing as they’re getting sued and all. Nope. Instead one of the directors at JONAH said (in a public statement delivered to CNN) “We remain steadfast in our commitment to assist those with unwanted same-sex attractions.”


Likewise, NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) is suing the State of California after the state passed a law making it illegal for minors to undergo conversion therapy in the state. NARTH insists that conversion therapy is not only helpful, but also necessary and argues that denying minors the option to get “assistance with unwanted same-sex attraction” is unconstitutional.


You can read more about NARTH’s lawsuit here.

Why This Matters to Me:

As an author working on two books addressing conversion therapy, I keep up on the latest legal developments.


Return here to get updates on these two lawsuits as they progress.