Media Hype the Equality Act, But It Actually Hurts People of Faith
By Greg Quinlan, Contributing Writer
Life Site News’ recent video, “Homosexuality doesn’t have to last a lifetime,” highlights testimonials from a number of formerly gay, lesbian or transgender individuals (including myself). We went to Washington, D.C., to inform members of the United States Senate against passing the so-called Equality Act.
Spurred on by both funding from Hollywood elites and a raft of favorable plot lines and gay identified characters on TV and in movies, the modern-day gay rights movement has gained ascendency while simultaneously denigrating the possibility of change of sexual orientation.
Illustrative of this is a recent article in Insider.com whose headline read, “11 LGBTQ movies to watch if you’re struggling with your sexuality or queerness.” Also, several popular TV shows favorably portray gay, lesbian, or transgender characters.
Disney, Universal Kids, Nickelodeon and a host of other entertainment companies are promoting LGBT identities using minor children to speak about their chosen identities and that they are living with two mommies or two daddies.
Swimming against this cultural tide projected by Hollywood’s left-wing are those of us whose lives prove that change of sexual orientation is possible. Americans deserve to know there is more to the story when considering the LGBTQ experience: Access to religious and personal counseling was essential to our healing of childhood sexual, emotional abuse and trauma that led us to embrace that lifestyle.
The choice to change is supported by science not the other way around.
Unfortunately, today’s cancel culture seeks to destroy many people who provided resources for those of us who freely chose a “politically incorrect” spiritual or therapeutic process to help us change sexual orientation.
One such victim is my Jewish friend, Arthur Goldberg.
Beginning in 2012 and continuing to today, two legal cases attacked his personal liberties, as well as the faith-based organizations he led and the people served by them.
The court-ordered judgments deprived him of his freedom of speech and freedom of association and fundamental First Amendment rights guaranteed by our constitution.
He was personally targeted for close to eight years by the infamous Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and their allied attorneys and, is personally obligated for literally millions of dollars that need to be raised to cover the fees and costs involved. What was his transgression; supporting Biblical values in a secular society.
In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) sued both an organization he previously co-founded and co-directed called JONAH as well as several individuals under the N.J. Consumer Fraud Act (CFA). After four years of litigation, the SPLC was able to successfully argue that referrals to independent counselors for those with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) involved a form of fraudulent commerce, on the erroneous theory that no one is capable of changing their sexual behaviors. This was the first case to ever apply the CFA law to a duly constituted not for profit religious organization, a holding that is antithetical to the very concept of consumer fraud, particularly because Arthur never received compensation for his multi-year volunteer work.
In addition, the judge ignored documents executed by the plaintiffs in which they acknowledged that no guarantees were offered in the treatments undertaken by the independent counselors to whom JONAH referred them.
Most egregiously, it was also during that trial that the judge denied them the opportunity to present expert witnesses who had actually successfully counseled people with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). He stated in a written opinion that the theory that unwanted SSA can be changed, “is not novel but — like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it — instead is outdated and refuted.”
Thus, by disallowing any testimony from expert witnesses about the ability to change sexual preference (as well as several other adverse rulings), the loss was inevitable.
The same N.J. judge that determined the result of the initial case against JONAH decided on another related lawsuit filed in 2018.
The second case held that a purely religious organization, JIFGA (which Arthur founded and ran), was an “alter-ego” of JONAH and applied the injunctions of the former case into the second case.
It ordered all its activities (including a crowd-funding site “Funding Morality”) to be shut down. This was so, in spite of the vastly different mission statements and activities between JONAH and JIFGA. The SPLC and their legal allies accessed 70,000 of Arthur’s emails in their effort to prove what they characterized as his defiance of the 2016 court’s order by allegedly continuing to carry out the work of JONAH. An appeal to New Jersey’s Appellate Division was filed. The case was argued on May 11. Two Amicus briefs were filed in support of Goldberg, one on constitutional issues and the other on therapeutic issues.
This second court ruling went far beyond the initial abridgment of the first case’s denial of religious rights. The Court also denied his constitutional rights to speak about his beliefs advocating therapy for unwanted SSA and to associate with others in any not for profit environment. Rabbi Dr. Shimon Cowen, director of the Institute for Judaism and Civilization, believes that the judge’s decision in this case “constitutes one of the greatest and most insidious infringements of religious freedom” he could ever have imagined.
In addition, many of the court’s “findings” were based on hearsay and assumptions that were contrary to the facts.
Arthur is still fighting these cases.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when the media fails to reveal the complicated truth about homosexuality. People wanting freedom from their same-sex attraction must be allowed to pursue biblical guidance and counseling. The Equality Act would prohibit them from doing so.