5 LGBT things you need to know today, May 14

1. The engineer at the center of the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia has been identified as gay activist Brandon Bostian. The NTSB says Bostian caused the train to derail by slamming on the emergency brakes as the...
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Southern Poverty Law Center sues ‘ex-gay therapy’ provider for fraud

Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center today filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey “ex-gay therapy” organization, claiming that Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing (JONAH), its founder, Arthur Goldberg, and counselor Alan Downing violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by providing conversion therapy claiming to cure clients of their sexual orientation.

“JONAH profits off of shameful and dangerous attempts to fix something that isn’t broken,” said Christine P. Sun, deputy legal director for the SPLC, in a prepared statement released today. “Despite the consensus of mainstream professional organizations that conversion therapy doesn’t work, this racket continues to scam vulnerable gay men and lesbians out of thousands of dollars and inflicts significant harm on them.”

The SPLC says conversion therapy propagates the myth that sexual orientation is a choice, a position the SPLC says encourages anti-gay bigotry.

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‘Legal eagles’ Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia to honor advocates of LGBT equality

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The Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, an organization for the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal community and allies, will hold its Annual Awards Dinner and honor Vandy Beth Glenn, Kathleen Womack and the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys for their continued fight for LGBT equality.

This year’s dinner is slated for Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center.  This year's honorees:

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Gays most likely to be victims of violent hate crimes

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that gay people, or those who are perceived to be gay, are far more likely to be the target of a violent hate crime than any other minority group in America.

According to a SPLC press release, gay people are twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime as Jews and African Americans, four times more likely to be violently attacked than Muslims and 14 times more than Latinos.

"As Americans become more accepting of homosexuals, the most extreme elements of the anti-gay movement are digging in their heels and continuing to defame gays and lesbians with falsehoods that grow more incendiary by the day," said Mark Potok, editor of the Intelligence Report. "The leaders of this movement may deny it, but it seems clear that their demonization of homosexuals plays a role in fomenting the violence, hatred and bullying we're seeing."