NY gays accuse NJ therapy group of false promises

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012
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The group's mission statement on its website says JONAH is "dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the social, cultural and emotional factors which lead to same-sex attractions."

Its claim that being gay is a mental disorder that can be reversed has been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association.

Speaking for the men at Tuesday's news conference were attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based civil rights organization.

"JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isn't broken," said Christine P. Sun, the center's deputy legal director. "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."

California has taken action against providers of conversion therapy.

Last month, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from using so-called reparative or conversion therapies with clients under age 18. Brown called the therapies "quackery" that "have no basis in science or medicine."

Two New Jersey lawmakers are drafting similar legislation.