NEW YORK — A group of Orthodox Jewish mental health professionals has joined forces to oppose a New Jersey law that prohibits “ex-gay” conversion therapy with minors, the Jewish Daily Forward reports.
A group called Nefesh has joined with the Orthodox umbrella group Agudath Israel of America to challenge the law. Rabbi Mordechai Biser, Agudath Israel’s general counsel, said his organization swung into action after receiving requests from Orthodox therapists who “pleaded with us to take whatever steps we could to prevent this legislation from being enacted,” the Forward reports.
Nefesh and the Agudah supported an appeal challenging the New Jersey state ban in an amicus brief they filed Jan. 22 with the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, the Forward article said.
In their briefs against the New Jersey law, Nefesh and the Agudah argued that the ban “impermissibly infringed” on the right of free speech.
For Orthodox groups, though, homosexual behavior remains a violation of biblical prohibition. Nevertheless, the Rabbinical Council of America, the country’s largest association of Modern Orthodox rabbis, acknowledged in a 2012 statement “the lack of scientifically rigorous studies that support the effectiveness of therapies to change sexual orientation,” the Forward reports.