Freedom is at stake in a case that goes to court today in New Jersey.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a left wing group that has labeled the American Family Association a hate group, has filed suit against JONAH, a Jewish organization that helps people with same gender attractions who want to change. Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund is representing JONAH.
“The SPLC is taking the position that telling homosexuals that you can help them overcome same sex attractions is a fraud, that there's nothing wrong with having same sex attractions and there's nothing wrong with being involved in homosexual behavior,” he says.
So, the Southern Poverty Law Center is trying to deprive them of their right to self- determination and religious freedom in considering that the Torah forbids homosexuality.
“Because JONAH is a religiously-based organization, the idea it follows is that homosexuality is disordered,” he says. “Not because it's a mental disease or defect, but because it's a sinful behavior and it's against God's plan.”
LiMandri will ask the court to dismiss the case on constitutional grounds. A lot is at stake and not just freedom. If the SPLC wins, the organization plans to use that as precedent and legally challenge the more than 70 faith-based groups in the country that provide counseling for unwanted same gender attractions.