The Ferguson v. JONAH Verdict and a Path Towards National Cessation of Gay-to-Straight “Conversion Therapy”

Dubrowski, Peter R. | December 31, 2015

In the essay, Dubrowski analyzes Ferguson v. JONAH, a landmark 2015 decision in which a New Jersey court held — for the first time — that homosexuality is not a disease or mental disorder as a matter of law. Based on this pretrial ruling, a civil jury unanimously found JONAH (a conversion therapy clinic) its co-directors and its chief counselor liable for violation of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. Dubrowski begins by explaining the two-pronged fraud JONAH perpetrated—first, claiming that homosexuality is a disorder, and second, that it can be cured—and continues by arguing that this two-pronged fraud is necessarily perpetrated by all conversion therapists. He then undertakes a survey of the consumer fraud laws of all fifty states, demonstrating that the verdict against JONAH is replicable across the country, and concluding that those injured by the so-called therapy should seek to replicate Ferguson v. JONAH’s success.