Gay ‘cure’ group to close following consumer fraud lawsuit
A ‘gay cure’ group is to close after being found guilty of consumer fraud.
Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) in the US state of New Jersey broke the state’s consumer fraud protection law by claiming to be able to change the sexuality of clients, a court found in June.
JONAH was at the time ordered to pay $72,400 (£46,000) in damages to former clients.
The jury of seven men and women took three hours to reach the landmark verdict in the case brought by three former clients, and two mothers of ex-clients.
According to the plaintiffs in the case, they suffered psychological damage as a result of the practices of JONAH, as well as being let out of pocket.
The case was the first to use consumer protection laws to challenge the widely condemned practice.
In a court settlement on Friday, JONAH agreed to reimburse the clients, and to pay $3.5 million in legal fees.
The settlement, which was approved by Superior Court Judge Peter F Bariso Jr in Hudson County, also requires the group to close and to remove its online presence.
JONAH is also required to liquidate its assets and dissolve as a corporate entity in the next six months.
A gender identity ‘conversion’ clinic in Toronto, Canada, earlier this week announced that it had realised it was out of touch with modern clinical practices and that it would close.