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November 28, 2012

N.J. Counseling Charity Sued Over Gay 'Conversion' Treatment

Four gay men who sought counseling from a Jersey City, N.J., nonprofit group that promises to help people deal with "unwanted same-sex sexual attractions" have sued the organization, claiming it both misled and mistreated them, CNN and The New York Times report.

The suit alleging consumer fraud by Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, or JONAH, is the first attempt to hold gay "conversion" therapists legally liable, said Samuel Wolfe, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is representing the plaintiffs.

The men claim they were defrauded by JONAH's claim that homosexuality is a reversible mental disorder and spent thousands of dollars on futile and at times abusive therapy. JONAH co-director Arthur Goldberg and counselor Alan Downing, who are named as defendants in the suit, did not respond to requests for comment.