February 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm EST | by Staff reports
Jewish counselors oppose reparative therapy ban
orthodox, jewish, torah, gay news, Washington Blade

For Orthodox groups, homosexual behavior remains a violation of biblical prohibition.

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.

1 Comment
  • Under the First Amendment it can be banned if its proven to do irreparable harm to others. Conversion therapy is not recognized by the AMERICAN PYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION AS constructive or legitimate. A coalition of psychologists, teachers , health providers including the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS as well as the INTERFAITH ALLIANCE FOUNDATION have endorsed an APA publication "Just the Facts" to address this upsurge in "conversion therapy". Their statement is as follows: "The opportunity for students to learn is diminished when they do not feel safe or supported at school. In addition to assault and harassment, gay, lesbian, bisexual students experience high rates of emotional distress, suicide attempts, and substance abuse. These factors hinder their emotional and social development, as well as their ability to succeed in school. It is our responsibility to provide accurate and factual information. We believe this publication will be a valuable tool to help educators, administrators and other's concerned with caring for America's students." Conversion therapy is counter to scientific evidence that its even effective. How can one convert someone who is merely being their natural self. Its a destructive therapy that should be done away with like the electroshock of yore.

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