Pros And Cons Of Conversion Therapy

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The main proponents of conversion therapy are laypeople and pastors. Furthermore, there has been a rise in the number of mental health professionals who act references for fundamentalist religious groups that promise to convert homosexuals to homsexuality. Given this rise this section will explore the regulation of non-licensed persons through the context of religion.
Mental health and paraprofessionals that provide conversion therapies not only harm their clients but they also commit consumer fraud. Courts generally do not find clergy liable for malpractice even when the harm of their conduct is evident. However, Pennsylvania courts have allowed claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. In Nardella v. Dattilo, the plaintiff alleged that …show more content…

Ferguson, was the first case in the United States to rule that it was a violation of a Consumer Fraud Act to call homosexuality a mental illness or disorder. The plaintiffs, three gay men and two of their mothers, sued Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), a Jersey City, N.J., stating that it had made statements that were gross misrepresentations in the sale and advertisement of its program which constituted fraud, deception and unconscionable business practices. On Feb. 10, a Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso Jr. ruled it was a misrepresentation that violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act to advertise gay conversion therapy services by depicting homosexuality as abnormal or a mental illness because this is contrary to the overwhelming weight of scientific authority. He further ruled that as a matter of law that it is a misrepresentation in violation of the CFA "to use specific success statistics in advertising and selling of services when client outcomes are not tracked and records are not maintained." The defendants argued attempted to defend the suit on a Free Exercise grounds, however, Judge Bariso, stated "the free exercise clause does not limitlessly protect any act done in the name of religious practice". Furthermore he noted that the alleged statements about a mental disorder had a medical or scientific basis, rather than a religious basis.
While the New Jersey case was the first of its kind, in May of 2015, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (TFPA). This bill would classify advertising that a group had the ability to change sexual orientation and gender identity as fraud. The bill is limited to for-profit conversion therapy industry, and contains protections for religious liberty and freedom of

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