The “bias” of a trial court judge and the prevailing political perspective in the Obama administration that homosexuality should be promoted has killed a New Jersey counseling program that offered help to those who are frustrated with their same-sex feelings and need help to deal with them.
Officials with JONAH, or Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, on Thursday issued a statement that the organization was closing down due to a judge’s order in a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
WND had reported several months ago on the jury verdict that ordered the organization to pay $72,000 to several plaintiffs who sued under a New Jersey consumer fraud law after they said their counseling sessions aimed at getting rid of unwanted same-sex attractions failed.
At the time, licensed professional counselor Christopher Doyle told the Anglican Mainstream that the decision “is the consequence of liberal judicial bias.”
“Before and during the trial Judge Peter Bariso stripped JONAH of so many opportunities to really defend themselves, disqualifying five of the six expert witnesses for the defendants because their opinions contradicted the so-called mainstream view that same-sex attractions are not at all disordered, even if a client is distressed by these unwanted sexual feelings because of their sincerely held religious and spiritual beliefs,” he explained.
“The judge’s bias against religious freedom was so ruthless that he even refused to allow JONAH’s chief attorney to mention the First Amendment freedom of religion in his closing argument,” Doyle said.
A statement released on Thursday by organization directors Arthur Goldberg & Elaine Silodor Berk thanked supporters for their “kind words and consistent financial support” over the years.
They called the verdict in the case “unjust and unwarranted.”
“The N.J. court delivered its final judgement on December 18th. Under the order, JONAH must permanently cease operations, including providing referrals and operating its website and listserv. That means that our site, www.jonahweb.org, will no longer be available online after mid-January 2016, and neither of us will be permitted to give referrals to strugglers who call or email with requests for help. JONAH is required to dissolve as a corporate entity and liquidate its assets by the middle of May,” they said.
However, they issued a statement of warning.
“The tragic miscarriage of justice which occurred in the JONAH case reflects the near triumph of political correctness and the gay activist agenda in the USA. We long for the day when the outcome in the JONAH case will be recognized as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in modern history,” their statement said.
“So many of the court’s outrageous pre-trial rulings, such as not allowing our six defense experts to testify, the equally outrageous rulings that calling homosexuality ‘disordered’ violates the consumer fraud act, and the ruling during the trial which prohibited our attorney from arguing our freedom of religion 1st Amendment rights, ended any real chance for a fair trial and verdict.
“However, we fervently believe that the Torah’s traditional values on sexuality and the family will triumph in the end because these universal laws produce the most just societies which, in turn, offer G-d given truths for all humanity to follow.”
Of their plans going forward, they said first they are collecting donations through PayPal, or mailed contributions to JONAH, Box 313, Jersey City, 07303, to pay the SPLC off.
And they said they already have filed the articvles of incorporation for the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness.”
“We intend to explain how following [Noah’s] laws can be shown to benefit the individual and society.
Those laws prohibit idolatry, blasphemy, murder, robbery, immorality and removing the limb from a live animal, and require a justice system.
The decision is representative of the moral agenda adopted by the Obama administration. Aalready California, Oregon and New Jersey have adopted rules that prohibit people from offering help during counseling sessions to juveniles who have unwanted same-sex attractions.
Several other states have rejected the idea.
The case was brought by the SPLC, which originally opposed racism and discrimination during its early years.
However, just a few years ago, it was linked to domestic terrorism in a court case. That was when homosexual activist Floyd Lee Corkins on Aug. 15, 2012, walked into Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C., armed with a semi-automatic pistol, 95 bullets and a sack of Chick-fil-A sandwiches with the intent, he later confessed, of killing “as many people as I could.” Corkins admitted he picked FRC, which promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about family and sexuality, because it was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by SPLC on its website.
In the courtroom, the judge actually had pre-ordained the conclusion, writing early in the case “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.”
For that reason, he gutted much of the organization’s defense.
Obama’s feelings are so strong on the issue that he has refused to meet with a group because of their sexual orientation.
In his victory speech on November 5, 2008, as reported by the New York Times, Obama said: “And for those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight; but I hear your voices. I need your help, and I will be your president, too.”
But Boynes Ministries chief Janet Boynes confirmed that Obama has refused to meet with former homosexuals and former lesbians.
In a commentary, she wrote, “For years, the president of the United States has sat down with those in the LGBTQ community but has failed to hear the stories of those of us who have successfully left the homosexual lifestyle.”
It’s not the first time Obama has been publicly confronted over this issue.
Officials with Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays confirmed to WND they had written to Obama early in 2014 asking for support.
“Each year thousands of men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave homosexuality through gender affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith based ministries, and other non-judgmental environments,” the letter said. “Their decision is a personal one that only they can make. However, there are those in society who refuse to respect an individual’s right to self-determination.
“Consequently, formerly gay men and women are harassed, bullied, and discriminated against simply because they dare to exist.
“Because of your public outpouring of support for the LGBT community, we ask that you also extend your support to the ex-gay community, which continues to face unprecedented prejudice, bullying and hate.”
The same organization had earlier approached Obama, when he still was a senator, with a request for support.
At that time, he was told, “Former homosexuals and their allies have been fired from their jobs, repeatedly ridiculed, assaulted and intimidated. This harassment is most often perpetrated by the same groups who demand protection under sexual orientation laws but work to deny ex-gays the same respect.”
For example, ex-“gays” routinely are excluded from NEA, PTA and American School Counselors Associations events and ex-“gay” speakers are not welcome on diversity days. Even their own conferences are picketed by “gay rights” groups.
But instead of support, the reverse developed.
“Sen. Obama knows about this discriminatory treatment firsthand,” PFOX reported. “When ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin sang at an Obama fundraiser last year, gay rights organizations demanded that Obama remove McClurkin from the program. On CNN Prime News, former Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Wayne Besen insisted that Obama should fire McClurkin just for being ex-gay. According to the Advocate, McClurkin is no longer part of the program.”