Therapy to convert gay to heterosexual is fraud, N.J. judge rules

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TRENTON, N.J. — A judge in New Jersey has ruled that claims of gay conversion therapy that describe homosexuality as a curable mental disorder are fraud.

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso Jr. ruled Tuesday in a case against Jersey City-based Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH). He says those claims are illegal based on the state’s Consumer Fraud Act.

JONAH attorney Charles LiMandri says the use of the word “disorder” was done based on Jewish law and not to describe homosexuality as a psychological disorder. He says JONAH expects to win when the case goes to trial in June.

JONAH has been sued by four men and two of their mothers.

Gov. Chris Christie signed a ban preventing licensed therapists from performing gay conversion therapy for patients under 18 in 2013.