A YOUNG gay man who attempted suicide after being forced to watch a video featuring the now dead ‘gay cure’ charlatan Sy Rogers, above, at Milton Hershey boys’ boarding school in Pennsylvania, has been ordered to pay some of the legal costs incurred after he unsuccessfully sued the school.
The case was brought against the school by Adam Dobson earlier this year.
In April we reported on the launch of the lawsuit which came in the wake of Dobson being compelled to watch “ex-gay” Rogers’ video One of the Boys: The Sy Rogers Story.
After the video was shown, Dobson says he was subjected to a campaign of prayer sessions with his house parents at the school to help him overcome his homosexuality.
Dobson later attempted suicide by wrapping a belt around his neck. He said he was expelled when he told school officials of his suicidal thoughts.
After the story broke, another student. Marcous Marchese, came forward to report that he, too, had been ordered to watch Rogers’ crappy faith-based video. (It’s got a five-star rating on Amazon.)
In May, federal judge John E Jones III dismissed his lawsuit against the school and questioned whether Dobson’s treatment constituted conversion therapy.
The judge wrote in his ruling.
Plaintiff’s subjective accusation that Defendants engaged in ‘gay conversion therapy’ does not make it so.
Now, Dobson has been ordered to pay $800 to the school to cover some of its legal fees in defending the case.
The order was filed in the US Middle District Court on Wednesday, October 7.
The former student could have been ordered to pay as much as $20,000 of the school’s legal fees. Dobson can contest the fee if he wishes to do so.
In his original lawsuit, Dobson accused the house parents, Andrew and Deanna Slamans, of engaging in “gay conversion therapy” when they showed him the video.
The school admitted that boys at the boarding school had been shown the video, but disputed that it counted as conversion therapy.
In his May ruling, the judge ruled that the video was acceptable and said the prayer campaign did not constitute conversion therapy as the couple “never explicitly mentioned his sexual orientation during the prayers” and “never indicated in the prayers that they preferred that he be straight.”
For the record, Milton Hershey is the richest private school in the United States, with about $13.8 billion in assets.
Judge Jones’ decision is the second recent win for the school. In late March, the judge dismissed a suit filed by the parents of former student Abbie Bartels, who took her own life after the institution would not let her return to campus due to her depression and suicidal thoughts. The Bartelses’ case was filed in 2013. Attorneys for the girl’s parents are appealing the decision.
The Inquirer and the Reporters Committee for a Free Press filed to unseal documents in the Dobson and Bartels cases. The court ruled that documents would be unsealed, with some redactions. By May of this The documents were still to be released.
Hat tip: Barriejohn