Jewish Ex-Gay Group Faces Suit for Consumer Fraud
A month after the nation’s leading Christian “ex-gay” group apologized and announced plans to close, a similar Jewish group is facing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit for consumer fraud.
On Friday (July 19) the New Jersey Superior Court will hear arguments in the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against the group Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing.
The complaint says the Jersey City-based JONAH’s practices violate the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by falsely promising that it can help clientsÂ change their sexuality from gay to straight.
“JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isn’t broken,” Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for the SPLC, said when the lawsuit was filed last November.
“Despite the consensus of mainstream professional organizations that conversion therapy doesn’t work, this racket continues to scam vulnerable gay men and lesbians out of thousands of dollars and inflicts significant harm on them.”
The suit is being brought by four young men and two of their parents, who claim that JONAH induced them to pay for services by making deceptive claims that sexual orientation is a choice that can be changed.