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Reported

News Brief

  8/20/2013, Elul 14, 5773

US Jewish Group Against Banning Gay Conversion Therapy


As the movement to prevent children and teens from being treated for same-sex attraction grows, one Jewish-American group is coming out against it as a freedom-of-speech issue. "The new law tramples on the rights of mental health therapists to engage freely in their profession," stated Agudath Israel of America in a press release.

The argument against such therapy is that it is harmful to try and convince one who identifies as homosexual that they can change their identity. However Agudath Israel of America argued that banning such treatments, "unfairly denies teenagers seeking therapy for issues that are troubling them the ability to obtain professional help."

The organization's announcement was in response to Monday's signing of a bill in New Jersey that will prohibit therapists and counselors from treating those under the age of 18.

Agudath Israel said they view the move as "a threat to civil and religious liberties. We believe that the new law, like a similar one in California that has been challenged in court and whose implementation is currently blocked, is constitutionally suspect."

The Agudath Israel movement originally began in 1912 and currently maintains numerous synagogues, yeshivot and other religious institutions throughout the United States.