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Author Topic: Groundbreaking Lawsuit Challenges Gay Conversion 'Therapy' Back to Topics
SemiSteve

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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 11:03:41 AM

Groundbreaking Lawsuit Challenges Gay Conversion 'Therapy'

"The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, charges that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), its founder, Arthur Goldberg, and counselor Alan Downing violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by providing conversion therapy claiming to cure clients of being gay."

"The lawsuit describes how the underlying premise of conversion therapy – that a person can “convert” to heterosexuality – has no basis in scientific fact. Conversion therapy has been discredited or highly criticized by all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations. It is the longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences that homosexuality is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation."

"Customers of JONAH’s services typically pay a minimum of $100 for weekly individual counseling sessions and another $60 for group therapy sessions. The lawsuit describes sessions that involved clients undressing in front of a mirror and even a group session where young men were instructed to remove their clothing and stand naked in a circle with the counselor, Downing, who was also undressed. Another session involved a subject attempting to wrest away two oranges, which were used to represent testicles, from another individual."

"Downing and other counselors at JONAH also use techniques that leave clients alienated from their families. These techniques encourage clients to blame their parents for being gay. Clients even participate in violent role play exercises where they beat effigies of their mothers.

“These counselors are skilled at manipulating you into believing just about anything,” said Benjamin Unger, another plaintiff in the case. “During my time with JONAH, they told me constantly that my mom had made me gay. I was so convinced that I refused to have any contact with her for several months, which caused a great deal of damage to our relationship.”

JONAH, formerly known as Jews Offering New Alternatives for Homosexuality, was founded by Goldberg, a former Wall Street executive and attorney. Before founding JONAH, Goldberg was convicted of three counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the federal government. He was ultimately disbarred from being an attorney."

Right on, SPLC!

This is the kind of news that keeps me donating to this unique organization.

It should be pretty obvious to everyone by now that sexual orientation is not something you can choose and it is not a 'problem' that needs 'correcting.'

SPLC

[Edited by: SemiSteve at 12/28/2012 11:06:09 AM EST]
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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2013 9:46:48 PM

"Any "therapy" teaching self hate or hate of others for the way you feel/are is suspect in my book."

That sounds like aversion therapy to me. If it worked in the instance of sexual orientation that would be one thing. But evidently it generally does not work. In the medical profession part of the oath taken by practitioners is "First, do no harm." The same principle would seem to apply to any therapist whether they be secularly or religiously-oriented.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2013 9:33:32 PM

???

Marcus Bachmann is conducting conversion therapy?

And if so, why would he stop?
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worryfree
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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2013 12:28:33 AM

Gosh how will Marcus Bachmann support Michelle if he has to stop his therapy to fix gays??!!
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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Jan 8, 2013 12:07:25 AM

"I seriously hope the SPLC wins that lawsuit."

One would expect that to be the ultimate outcome; if not at the trial court level then on appeal.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 7, 2013 4:34:37 PM

I seriously hope the SPLC wins that lawsuit.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 5:48:07 PM

Thank you, Nick. btw, the only one who has ever leveled those baseless charges at me has been AC-302. He is the only one I am aware of who construed anything I posted as such. Disappointing; as I consider him a good debater and a friend.

And florida1541, you are quite welcome. Thanks for letting me know this was helpful.
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florida1541
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 3:37:08 PM

thanks steve for this post and your input on this subject i found it to be imencely helpful to me personaly
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NickHammer
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 3:25:36 PM

>>And again, SLPC or not, there are WAY more Christian "missions" to convert homosexuals, so why aren't you picking on them, too? You have chosen to "slam" a Jewish organization on this board. And since you have said some things on these boards that could be, and in some cases, HAVE been construed as anti-semitic...<<

Wow, AC, I think that's a bit over the top. No, make that WAY over the top. It's a current story, so Steve posted it. It happens to be Orthodox Jews. So what? The SPLC, on behalf of some folks who claim to have been defrauded by this organization, are suing this group. And the law firms providing co-counsel for the SPLC are Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP and Lite DePalma Greenberg LLC. Are you gonna get on their case, too? Jews suing Jews - the must be a bunch of anti-semites, right?

As for your comment about Steve posting things that "HAVE been construed as anti-semitic", I have never seen anything he's written to be the least bit anti-semitic. So, if you could point out some of these instances to back up your claim, that'd be great.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 3:21:30 PM

Thanks for the story, sgm4law. I had not seen it:

" the state's governor declaring he hopes a new law will relegate such efforts "to the dustbin of quackery.""

"A leading psychologist in the field of reparative therapy, George Rekers, treated a boy named Kirk Murphy, whose story was told in a 2011 CNN report. Rekers considered Kirk a success story, writing that "his feminine behavior was gone" -- proof, Rekers said, that homosexuality can be prevented.

But Murphy's family said he never stopped being gay. He hanged himself at the age of 38. Despite allegations by the family that Rekers' therapy decades earlier ultimately led to the suicide , Rekers told CNN that scientifically, it "would be inaccurate to assume that it was the therapy," and that he grieves for the parents."

"It hurts children. It has no basis in fact. And they need to stop."
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sgm4law
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 2:59:02 PM

they've banned such "therapy" in California, but I'm guessing you all knew that, right?
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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 2:28:36 PM

"I have to wonder why you have taken this tangent. Are you one who thinks gays can be converted? Is this simply an attempt to bog the topic down with a something that has nothing to do with it?"

It's generally best to avoid discussion with specific individuals in a forum of this nature, which is why it's usually pointless to identify who posted what. Ideas are the only thing worth discussing here, not who said what, when. I rarely post comments on here that I don't get points for; there are a number of other forums more appealing than GB for that purpose. As for tangents, they're only diversions if people take the bait.
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florida1541
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 2:21:57 PM

i think it is possible to want sex with both but to be in love with only one ,or the other because you have to commite when in love where as with sex just enjoy
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YDraigGoch
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 1:56:32 PM

The "therapy" would border on the edge of torture as defined by the Bush administration. That had some pretty loose borders, a lot of leeway.

Sleep depravation, naked harassment, physical assault, techniques created espeCIAlly to break down a person's will.

These techniques are similar to CIA "enhanced interrogation" processes.

And the really sad thing is that the people who back such tactics are the very same ignorant fanatics that spewed out the hate that made these people feel inferior in the first place.

First, they break them. Then they "offer" to fix them.

Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky would be so proud.
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1OILMAN
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 1:37:30 PM

What is the therapy? Sending them to a Islamic country for a year?
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 1:32:24 PM

AC-302, you could pile a dozen chips on your shoulder. And you would still be barking up a dead tree.

I think the SNL paradies of Anita Bryant are the last I heard of her. I had no idea she was running conversion clinics. And again, SPLC selected this case to file a first-ever lawsuit on the grounds of fraud. That is why I started this topic, as I just told you. It is about the lawsuit and gay conversion 'therapy'. It is absurdly misplaced and pointless that your beef is anti-semitism because I penned a topic about this case.

I have to wonder why you have taken this tangent. Are you one who thinks gays can be converted? Is this simply an attempt to bog the topic down with a something that has nothing to do with it? An attempt to change the subject because you are that uncomfortable with the ACTUAL subject? Why do you find it so difficult to comment ON topic?

It has been shown that homosexuality is most likely genetic. There is absolutely no evidence that conversion works; and plenty of evidence that great harm is often done in the search for it. People are being called into court for it now. And just because they are one particular religion, you are willing to excuse what they have been accused of without so much as a hearing. So is that it now? People of one particular faith are above the law? Because, you know, to actually have them be responsible for their actions like everyone else is 'singling them out for their religion' (in your world.) Does this special treatment only apply to the one faith? Or are there others?

Get real. Everyone should have to answer for their actions. Nobody is above the law. It doesn't matter what religion they follow.
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AC-302
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Message Posted: Jan 4, 2013 1:04:59 PM

SemiSteve - how could you be unaware of Anita Bryant? She was all over homosexuals in the 70s and 80s. Even SNL used to make fun of her regularly. That's why the Florida Orange Growers dropped her ad campaigns, or don't you recall the controversy? But again, what are you decrying? Are you decrying that there are so-called "conversions" from homosexuality? Or are you decrying that there is a fraud occurring. Clarify your position, please. And again, SLPC or not, there are WAY more Christian "missions" to convert homosexuals, so why aren't you picking on them, too? You have chosen to "slam" a Jewish organization on this board. And since you have said some things on these boards that could be, and in some cases, HAVE been construed as anti-semitic, you've opened yourself up.. again. Your motives are in question.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 4:26:56 PM

AC-302, You're intelligent and often make some very convincing points. I usually anticipate a well thought-out post from you. But this recent chip-on-the-shoulder thing about anti-semitism is just totally bizarre and unexpected.

It is also dissappointing.

I was not even aware of the Anita Bryant Clinics. I only learned of this because I donate to SPLC; and receive their newsletter, which included this story. SPLC selected this one case. I presume the reason was because they thought they had enough evidence to win their case or at least cause the defendants great legal costs. Why don't you accuse SPLC of anti-semitism and ask why they didn't charge the Anita Bryant Clinics?
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cymk
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Message Posted: Jan 3, 2013 10:56:36 AM

Kat>>>This would not appear to be an either/or proposition. If it's effective, then it's not consumer fraud. If it's ineffective, then it is consumer fraud. So the conclusion would seem to be either both or neither.<<<

Any "therapy" teaching self hate or hate of others for the way you feel/are is suspect in my book. I feel sorry for those individuals who cannot accept who they are, and would go so far as humiliation role play, or violence role play for a "cure."
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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Dec 29, 2012 1:16:00 PM

"Are you touting fraud, or are you touting their conversion techniques as ineffective?"

This would not appear to be an either/or proposition. If it's effective, then it's not consumer fraud. If it's ineffective, then it is consumer fraud. So the conclusion would seem to be either both or neither.
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AC-302
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Message Posted: Dec 29, 2012 12:04:05 PM

Hey, Steve - why aren't you picking on the Anita Bryant clinics and some others? Once again, do you see where you're opening yourself up to charges of anti-semitism? There are plenty of evangelical Christian groups that also offer "conversion therapy" to homosexual men (I won't use the term "gay" as it's a euphemism). I'll bet you that this is the only such Jewish organization in the country. Are you touting fraud, or are you touting their conversion techniques as ineffective?
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 10:18:45 PM

Whether you are straight, gay, bi-sexual, if you are in pain with your "choice", the best real therapy can do is help you realize it may not be so much a "choice" after all, that if you aren't straight you aren't sick or demented, and acceptance of yourself for what you are will bring you peace in your life.
If you could actually be "cured" of being gay, then you weren't really gay in the first place.

[Edited by: rumbleseat at 12/28/2012 10:20:16 PM EST]
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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 9:39:29 PM

"I just have such a good life that it pains me to see others suffering and I want them to be able to enjoy life as much as I do."

That's called having empathy. Those who lack such empathy are simply defective in my book.
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KatmanDo
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 9:36:10 PM

"there is a term for "going either way" its called being bisexual. Now I personally define it as being attracted to both the male and female body sexually, others might define it slightly differently."

Mental health professionals tend to define sexual orientation in terms of being able to form emotional, romantic attachments to others. Sexual contact is not part of that definition. Thus a lesbian might work as a prostitute with a predominantly male clientele; her frequent sexual contacts with those males would not categorize her as bisexual.

Personally, I consider bisexuals to be gay.
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MiddletownMarty
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 4:56:47 PM

"so if you can go either way would you be considered gay?"

By whom?
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cymk
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 4:24:57 PM

Steve -- I love Dan Savage's advise column and I tihnk you are spot on in your post

florida -- Not to sounds too much like a jerk, but there is a term for "going either way" its called being bisexual. Now I personally define it as being attracted to both the male and female body sexually, others might define it slightly differently.
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 4:00:56 PM

A fairly personal question!

But I will answer.

I am straight.

I just have such a good life that it pains me to see others suffering and I want them to be able to enjoy life as much as I do. I have acquaintances who are gay. Some are out and others not. I think it would be terrible to be forced to live in a world where one felt as though they were not accepted. It must be. How about the gay kids who kill themselves after being taunted at school?
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florida1541
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 2:52:17 PM

so if you can go either way would you be considered gay?
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florida1541
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 2:29:18 PM

semi-congrades i think you are a true independent with some very open mind thoughts and should at the very least be comended for honest and helpful suggestions
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SemiSteve
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 2:22:02 PM

I think there is probably a full spectrum of sexuality. Some are gay, some are straight, and some can go either way. But whatever your orientation, there is no 'therapy' which can change that. What it can do is cause real harm.

And ignorance also causes real harm. Those who would choose to support ignorance or even profit from it are also doing harm.

"so if i like the same sex there is nothing i can do to change that ?

and how do i deal with the wife and kids ? "

I don't run an advice column. But I can imagine one such as Savage Love saying something along the lines of:

--OK, so you've tried to ignore your sexuality and gotten yourself into a marriage and had kids before you finally realized you can't change it. And it sounds like you have a genuine love for her and them. That is OK. As long as you can be happy like that keep right on with it.

Many people are polyamorous. (ability to love more than one person) And not all of them feel the need to act on it. What you need to do is talk this over with your wife and try to reach an understanding. Maybe just getting things out in the open and reassuring her that you have no need to act on your feelings would suffice.

But if you do feel that you must act on your feelings then perhaps you can work something out. Perhaps she would be into having an open marriage. You could each allow the other freedom to engage in sexual acts with others or one could allow the other to do so and personally choose not to. Whatever you are comfortable with.

If no agreement can be worked out and you can not stand the thought of going on like this then the only other option is to talk about an amicable divorce. But don't worry too much about that. It is not the end of the world and it is quite survivable. Sometimes the road to happiness is a difficult path. The thing to do first is talk.

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sgm4law
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 12:01:28 PM

"and how do i deal with the wife and kids ?"

Why would you have married a woman if you were attracted to men, unless it were under the false pretense of being able to commit to a heterosexual relationship?
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florida1541
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Message Posted: Dec 28, 2012 11:08:11 AM

so if i like the same sex there is nothing i can do to change that ?

and how do i deal with the wife and kids ?
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