[Ed. – No jury — or judge, or court, for that matter — is competent to render such a judgment. No legislature is either; a legislature is only competent to decide that a state will treat “gay conversion” therapy as if it’s a form of fraud. You don’t know if it’s fraud, and neither do I. No one does. You and I only know the assumptions we would make to draw a conclusion one way or the other — and those assumptions are as profoundly disputable as any point of fact ever was. This is a really bad week for America’s courts.]
A New Jersey jury on Thursday found a non-profit group that provides gay-to-straight conversion therapy guilty of consumer fraud for promising clients they could overcome their sexual urges by undressing in front of other men, pummeling an effigy of their mothers, and re-enacting traumatic childhood experiences.
In the first case in the nation to put the controversial practice on trial, the jury concluded that Arthur Goldberg and Elaine Berk, the founders of Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing in Jersey City and life coach Alan Downing to whom JONAH referred patients, “engaged in unconscionable commercial practices” and misrepresented their services.
Chuck LiMandri, president of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and JONAH’s lead counsel, said he would appeal the decision, which he called a blow to religious liberty.