JONAH, Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, was a non-profit international organization dedicated to educating the world-wide Jewish community about the social, cultural and emotional factors which lead to same-sex attractions. JONAH worked with those struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions (SSA) and with families whose loved ones are involved in homosexuality.
JONAH was sued by the well-funded, leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on behalf of four individuals who had previously received referrals from JONAH to therapists who sought to help them with their SSA. The suit was part and parcel of a deliberate campaign by secularist activists and their allies to shut down all forms of counseling for those who struggle with SSA. That the SPLC would even bring such a charge was evidence of how grave the threat to religious liberty in America had become.
On June 25, 2015, in the first-ever trial of conversion therapy in the United States, a New Jersey jury found JONAH guilty of consumer fraud for promising to be able to change its client’s sexual urges and determined its commercial practices to be unconscionable.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr. granted a permanent injunction after an agreement by both parties requiring JONAH to shut down entirely and prohibiting founder Arthur Goldberg and counselor Alan Downing from engaging in any form of conversion therapy commerce in New Jersey.
JONAH and its attorneys believed that they had excellent grounds for an appeal and a good chance of prevailing. However, there were great risks to the JONAH defendants if they lost on appeal because they would be potentially personally liable for millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees to the SPLC.
January 18, 2016 – JONAH case: “This agenda-driven show trial made a mockery of justice”
January 7, 2016 – Court shuts down religious non-profit for counseling homosexuals
January 5, 2016 – Jewish counselors forced out of business for helping people avoid homosexual behavior
June 5, 2015 – No More Right to Same-Sex Attraction Therapy?
June 4, 2015 – The Left is Schizoid on Sexuality
May 29, 2015 – Anti-Christian Bullies Target Jewish Group Helping Gay Men
May 29, 2014 – Powerful Leftist Group sues to close Jewish counseling Service for Gays
May 27, 2015 – JONAH Trial Gets Underway in Jersey
May 14, 2015 – SPLC campaign WOULD ‘ban help for ‘gay’ people’
May 13, 2015 – New Jersey Court to Hear Landmark Case on Gay Conversion Therapy
May 12, 2015 – Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund Board Member on SPLC Lawsuit against Jewish Counseling Agency
May 1, 2015 – Religious liberty on the line
Jan 27, 2015 – Faith Group Battles Southern Poverty Law Center in NJ Court Over Reparative Therapy for Gays
Aug 12, 2013 – Charles LiMandri: Lawyer on the Front Lines of the Culture Wars
July 22, 2013 – A low attack on same-sex therapy
July 12, 2013 – Arguments Set for SPLC Lawsuit Against NJ Jewish Gay Therapy Group
May 11, 2013 – Identical twin studies prove homosexuality is not genetic
April 30, 2013 – Why is the JONAH case so important to religious liberty?
Dec 20, 2012 – SPLC lawsuit against reparative therapy group ‘the height of intolerance’
Dec. 19, 2012– Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) Defends Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH)