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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Orthodox Jewish supported gay conversion therapy organization ‘JONAH’ slapped with fraud lawsuit

An Orthodox Jewish supported organization, which claims it can cure gays and lesbians through conversion therapy, was slapped with a fraud lawsuit, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. court.

Just a month after a gay healing Christian group apologized to the public and announced plans to shut down, a similar Jewish group faces the first of its kind consumer fraud lawsuit.

On Friday, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear arguments in the lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against Jews offering new alternatives to heal homosexuals.

The lawsuit claims that JONAH’s practices violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by falsely promising that it can help gays change their sexuality to straight.

"JONAH profits from shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that is not broken", Christine P. Sun, the deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said.

"Despite the consensus of leading professional organizations that reparative therapy does not work, these con men continue to prey on vulnerable gays and lesbians, steal thousands of dollars from them and inflict significant damage on them," she said.

The lawsuit is being brought by four young men and two of their parents, who claim that JONAH convinced them to pay for services by making false statements that sexual orientation is a choice that can be changed.

JONAH has no official denominational affiliation, but its work has been endorsed by leading Orthodox Jewish rabbis and institutions.

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