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State court: calling homosexuality a disorder is like saying the earth is flat

February 13, 2015

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso has ruled that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) committed fraud in offering conversion therapy to persons with homosexual attractions.

“It is a misrepresentation in violation of the CFA [Consumer Fraud Act], in advertising or selling conversion therapy services, to describe homosexuality, not as being a normal variation of human sexuality, but as being a mental illness, disease, disorder, or equivalent thereof,” he said in a brief February 10 ruling.

In an earlier ruling, Judge Bariso barred testimony from proponents of conversion therapy.

“The overwhelming weight of scientific authority concludes that homosexuality is not a disorder or abnormal,” he ruled on February 5. “The universal acceptance of that scientific conclusion -- save for outliers such as JONAH -- requires that any expert opinions to the contrary must be barred.”

He added:

the theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel but -- like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it -- instead is outdated and refuted.

Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder in the DSM until its removal in 1973. Although the DSM has added newly recognized disorders as a result of evolving understandings of the medical field, this case presents the opposite situation: the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM upon concluding that it was not a disorder.

JONAH has not identified any case that provides a standard for the admission of obsolete and discredited scientific theories. By definition, such theories are unreliable and can offer no assistance to the jury, but rather present only confusion and prejudice.


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  • Posted by: Watt Dwineault - Feb. 18, 2015 10:45 AM ET USA

    Increasingly, we live not in a country but an asylum.

  • Posted by: Bernadette - Feb. 15, 2015 7:37 PM ET USA

    The judge doesn't know what he is talking about. Reason will tell anyone, if anyone wants to be rational, that the sexual acts committed by active homosexuals are against nature and often lead to a variety of illnesses and early death, as well as drug and alcohol addictions, depression, sometimes suicide. No good can come from active homosexuality. Therapy can sometimes work, and the organization COURAGE will help homosexuals to live chastely.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Feb. 14, 2015 4:16 PM ET USA

    An article in Slate describes some of the therapy sessions and I can't believe that any of their techniques are psychologically sound.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Feb. 13, 2015 11:08 PM ET USA

    The APA removed homosexuality from the DSM due to political pressure, not because there was any new medical information. And unless the judge has been presented with evidence that JONAH has used coercion to bring in clients for their services, he has no reason to rule against the organization. It is beyond his purview to speak about homosexuality itself, even if he is a medical professional. There are plenty of psychiatrists, psychologists and other experts who disagree with the APA.

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Feb. 13, 2015 10:23 AM ET USA

    No favourable ears in Nineveh for you this time, o prophet.