The following comes from a December 20 story on LifeSiteNews.com.
Charles LiMandri, the president and chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund has announced that he has accepted the role of lead defense counsel for Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) in a precedent-setting lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
JONAH is a Jewish organization that offers assistance to men and women seeking to resolve their sexual conflicts, focusing specifically on unwanted same-sex attractions.
The poverty center filed a lawsuit against JONAH, alleging the group is guilty of “consumer fraud,” because the therapy will fail to change some people’s sexual orientation.
In taking on the case, Charles LiMandri stated, “The lawsuit is ill-conceived and legally untenable for multiple reasons. It seeks to violate the First Amendment freedoms of speech, religion, and association—not only of JONAH and the other defendants, but also untold numbers of people in need that stand to benefit from their services.”
LiMandri pointed out that since its founding more than 12 years ago, JONAH has helped hundreds of people live the lives that they want, consistent with their personal values.
Arthur Goldberg, JONAH’s co-director, has stated that his organization will vigorously defend itself against a lawsuit that he called “without merit,” and “designed to create a chilling effect upon speech and programs that assist people in overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions.”
The Freedom of Conscience fund noted that JONAH has never been the target of a lawsuit until now, and this lawsuit is apparently the result of the poverty center advertising in the media for people willing to be named as plaintiffs against JONAH.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council called the assertion that reparative therapy is a fraud, because not everyone is “cured, equally “as ridiculous as suing Weight Watchers because they promised you’d lose weight and you didn’t.”
“The only people guilty of fraud are the ones who claim people with same-sex attractions can’t change,” he said.
Mr. LiMandri indicated that the Freedom of Conscience fund is teaming up with the Alliance Defending Freedom to litigate the case, which was filed in New Jersey, with the assistance of Michael Laffey, a highly respected New Jersey attorney who is experienced in freedom of speech and religious liberty cases.
The Freedom of Conscience fund is a national public interest law firm that specializes in defending freedom of religion and conscience by providing legal services at the trial level.
To read LifeSiteNews story, click here.