After three hours of deliberation, a New Jersey jury ruled Thursday that a Jewish, gay-conversion therapy group committed consumer fraud and unconscionable business practices by promising to change the sexuality of several Orthodox Jewish men, who were its clients.
The group, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), must pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. They’ve also been ordered to pay $72,400 in damages—roughly triple what JONAH’s clients paid for its services, including therapy to undo the conversion therapy’s effects. It may also be forced to shut down.
“This verdict is a monumental moment in the movement to ensure the rights and acceptance of LGBT people in America,” said David Dinielli, the deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the lead attorney for the case, in a statement. “Conversion therapy and homophobia are based on the same central lie—that gay people are broken and need to be fixed.”
Continue reading: The End of Gay Conversion Therapy
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