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Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) Defends Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH)

Targeted for Helping People with Unwanted Same Sex Attractions

Contact: James Aitchison, Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, 626-627-1318, press@ConscienceDefense.org

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) announced today that it has accepted the role of lead defense counsel for Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH) in a precedent-setting lawsuit. FCDF is a national public interest law firm that represents people whose freedom of conscience has come under attack. JONAH is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that offers assistance to men and women seeking to resolve their sexual conflicts, including unwanted same sex attractions. JONAH has been unjustly sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) who claims that homosexuality is permanently fixed and that people cannot be helped in overcoming their unwanted same-sex attractions.

SPLC 's position is inconsistent with numerous scientific and medical opinions and studies, finding that sexual attraction is influenced by many factors, both environmental and biological. Even certain gay activist groups claim that sexual attractions can be fluid and change throughout people's lives. SPLC's allegations also ignore the thousands of people who have already benefitted from programs, such as those offered by JONAH and others, many of whom are now living their life long dreams, including traditional marriage and children.

Charles LiMandri, the President and Chief Counsel of the FCDF, stated, "The SPLC lawsuit is ill-conceived and legally untenable for multiple reasons. It seeks to violate the First Amendment freedoms of speech, religion and association not only of JONAH and the other defendants, but also untold numbers of people in need that stand to benefit from their services."

For over twelve years, JONAH has helped hundreds of people live the lives that they want, consistent with their personal values. JONAH's mission is to give all people the opportunity to explore their internal conflicts around sexuality and other values in a caring, non-judgmental environment.

JONAH has never been the target of a lawsuit until now, and this lawsuit is apparently the result of SPLC advertising in the media for people willing to be named as plaintiffs against JONAH. SPLC's lawsuit seeks to deprive men and women who experience unwanted same sex attractions of the opportunity to explore and resolve these attractions so that they can live healthier and happier lives consistent with their own personal values. "It is the height of intolerance and arrogance for the SPLC to dictate to individuals who experience unwanted same sex attraction and who are seeking help, that they are not entitled to receive such help nor support in a way that respects their personal values," LiMandri stated: "JONAH and the other defendants will be vigorously defended against these baseless claims to protect not only their Constitutional rights, but also the right of self-determination of all those who wish to resolve their unwanted same sex attractions."

FCDF is being assisted in this precedent-setting case, which was filed in New Jersey, by local counsel Michael Laffey. Mr. Laffey is a highly respected New Jersey attorney who is experienced in freedom of speech and religious liberty cases.

About Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF)
Led by Chief Counsel Charles LiMandri, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) specializes in defending consciences properly formed in moral principles by providing legal services at the trial level. As the United States continues its rapid moral decline, real threats to our religious freedom are increasing exponentially. FCDF is prepared to engage legal, legislative, and cultural issues on behalf of people of faith by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education, and litigation.

As a result of increasing attacks on religious freedom, many persons of conscience have meritorious claims for harassment, defamation, and discrimination. With his decades of experience in this area, Charles LiMandri has been selected to head up a joint strike team comprised of the FCDF and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is making available its nationwide network of thousands of attorneys to assist in these cases at the local level under Mr. LiMandri's direct supervision.

The assault on religious liberty, traditional family values and human life is prompting people of faith to step up in strong defense of their inalienable rights. To learn more about FCDF or to support its work, please visit
www.ConscienceDefense.org.