It seems as if certain purported civil-rights activists think homosexuals are like some organized-crime groups: You can join the gang, but the only way you can leave is feet first.
A case in point is a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey against JONAH International — a Judaic organization that helps people overcome unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) — and some of its associates by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). And what is the basis for the lawsuit? As co-founder of JONAH Arthur Goldberg explained to me:
The lawsuit was filed under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act alleging the commission of a consumer fraud on the unproven theory that same-sex attraction is inborn and unchangeable. Therefore, the programs and counselors to which we refer people have allegedly committed a consumer fraud because those seeking such services allegedly cannot change. Their goal is to put us (and other small organizations like ours) out of business.
Fraud? People with SSAs cannot change? JONAH’s satisfied program participants say otherwise. And here are just a few of their testimonials:
• Daniel Meir Horowitz wrote in a post entitled “A Long, Hard Road: How Reparative Therapy Saved My Life,” “I want to shout to all those plagued by SSA who wish they were not: Don't give up. Please. Despite what you read and hear in our secular culture about the false idea that change is impossible, a ray of light might be just around the corner.”
• Nathan wrote, “The insight [JONAH provided] also allows me to see this pattern [of SSA] for what it is not: the thinking that I was born this way as many elements of society continually preach or a belief that my SSA is so ingrained that it can never be overcome.”
• “Jonah Wife,” whose husband’s SSA had impacted negatively upon their marriage for years, wrote, “[The Therapy] really is working and since JIM [a program JONAH recommends] came into our lives we haven't had one glitch in our personal life. And that's really something to shout about!!”
But Goldberg offers more than just anecdotes. He also told me, “About two thirds of the clients referred to us report significant reductions in their unwanted behaviors and feelings. These results are consistent with other programs that utilize both spiritual and psychological work to help people seeking to change.”
Given this track record, it’s not surprising that those helped by JONAH are upset that pro-SSA activists are trying to squelch their freedom. As JONAH recently disseminated in an email:
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