FCDF Beats Back SPLC's Attack on Religious Liberty in the JONAH Case:
The depositions of most of the plaintiffs and all of the defendants have now been completed in this landmark case brought against JONAH by the Southern Poverty Law Center ("SPLC"). These depositions reveal that there is indeed fraud involved in this case but it is solely on the part of the SPLC's clients, not the JONAH defendants. Let's look at the plaintiffs' false claims and what the evidence actually shows in this case to date:
Claim 1: Homosexuals Are "Born Gay"
Comprehensive twin studies show that people are not born gay. Identical twins have the same genetic code, but even when one of them is gay the other usually is not. See link here: http://www.hollanddavis.com. Moreover, gay researchers admit no gay gene has ever been found. And even the pro-gay American Psychological Association ("APA"), acknowledges that homosexuality appears to be caused by a complex mix of factors that may include biological influences as well as developmental factors.
These developmental factors often include the perception that the father is abusive or distant, the perception that the mother is overbearing, the incidence of sexual molestation, and/or bullying by other boys in school. This leads to a lack of attachment to their own gender, which results in the envy -- and even mystification -- of other boys. This in turn leads to same sex attraction in the adolescent years. The influence of these various factors is generally involuntary. Of course, the decision to identify as "gay," and to act on those same sex attractions, is voluntary.
Claim 2: Sexual Orientation Cannot Be Changed
JONAH has helped hundreds of men diminish or completely dissipate their unwanted same-sex attractions. It does this through referrals to experienced life coaches and counselors who employ widely used processes that help diminish guilt, shame and envy of other men. As shame and envy diminish, and healthy relationships with other men are developed, the same sex attractions diminish and opposite sex attractions frequently increase. Former clients have come forward to testify as to how JONAH’s program helped them achieve their dreams of having a wife and family and, in some cases, even saved their lives.
Nationwide, there are thousands of men and women that now identify as "ex-gay." The APA notes that for some people homosexuality is fluid and flexible and upholds the time-honored principle that everyone has the right to self-determination. The plaintiffs and SPLC stand against the right of unhappy men and women to choose to seek help for their unwanted same-sex attractions. There is ample scientific evidence that such efforts can be successful. The recent book by James E. Phelan, Successful Outcomes of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts: An Annotated Bibliography, published in January 2014, cites numerous studies that document this change.
JONAH's experience is similar to that of other practitioners of sexual orientation change efforts ("SOCE") and, indeed, therapists who help people overcome other psychological or emotional problems. In that regard, the evidence shows that approximately one-third of people reach their goal of overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions, approximately one-third of people make significant progress towards achieving their goals and experience substantial benefits, and approximately one-third of people do not reach their goals. A new article that contains many good facts and references to counter plaintiffs’ false claims can also be found here: http://consciencedefense.org/pdf.
Claim 3: Homosexual Behavior Is Not Disordered
JONAH does not hold the position that homosexuality is a mental disease or defect. That does not mean, however, that it is not a serious problem for those who are disturbed by their same-sex attractions. Many of these people hold religious beliefs and values that are antithetical to the gay agenda. According to a recent Pew Survey, approximately one-half of the American people believe that homosexual behavior is sinful. The Catholic Catechism states that homosexual attractions are "disordered." The gay activists at the SPLC want to stigmatize and punish people of faith, including the JONAH defendants, who also hold traditional/Biblical views on human sexuality.
Moreover, the plaintiffs and the SPLC refuse to acknowledge the grave warnings of the Center for Disease Control that homosexual behavior leads to serious risks of sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, which is increasing among teenage boys and young men in their twenties. Even the FDA website indicates that condoms are not designed for sodomy and such unnatural acts can never be considered "safe." A good short discussion of the freedom of speech and religion implications of this issue can be found here: http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/.
Conclusion: None of the Plaintiffs' Claims Are Valid
Not only did all of the plaintiffs fail to complete the defendants' program, but they each admit that there was no guarantee of any particular result. None of them complained while they were still in the program, but rather expressed gratitude for the defendants' efforts. The SPLC's plaintiff-spokesperson, Chaim Levin, had even offered to be a spokesperson and fundraiser for JONAH, and he spoke about the program in the most glowing terms when he was still participating in it.
It was not until some eighteen months after Chaim Levin quit the defendants' program that he was recruited by gay activists to bring this bogus lawsuit. He and the rest of the plaintiffs are merely puppets of the SPLC and militant gay activists. This includes Wayne Besen, a relentless antagonist of the ex-gay community and the chief architect of the present malicious lawsuit against the JONAH defendants. The misguided efforts of the plaintiffs and their handlers, to set-back the cause of religious liberty, are destined to fail.
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