Silhouettes of the laptop, and the users of mobile devices are see next to a projection screen of the Google logo in this picture illustration 28 March 2018.
Google has pulled a controversial conversion therapy app from the Play Store after a protest by LGBTQ groups.
Google is coming under pressure from various LGBTQ groups to remove from the Living Hope Ministries app from the Play Store for Android apps. A petition demanding that Google remove the app followed more than 140,000 signatures on Change.org.
“After consultation with external interest groups, the revision of our policy, and to ensure that we had a thorough knowledge of the app and its relationship to conversion therapy, we have decided to remove it from the Play Store, that are consistent with other app stores,” a Google spokesman told Fox News, via e-mail.
GOOGLE LOSES IMPORTANT LGBTQ RIGHTS ARE TO THE ANNOTATION IN THE LIVING HOPE MINISTRIES APP DISPUTE
The app reportedly provides users with recordings of sermons and text reflections and contains sections for men, women, youth, and parents. Living Hope Ministries has asserted that the app does not promote or endorse conversion therapy.
The Sundar Pichai-led company has taken heat about the app since earlier this year, with LGBTQ advocacy groups the Human Rights Campaign, Truth Wins, and Democratic New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, had his campaign for the app’s removal.
“We applaud @Google for making the right decision to pull out of their online shop, an important step to protect LGBT youth,” tweeted the Human Rights Campaign late Thursday.
LGBT GROUPS TO PRESSURE GOOGLE TO REMOVE CONVERSION THERAPY APP
The Human Rights Campaign, which is the country’s biggest LGBTQ rights group, had withdrawn approval from Google in the app.
“The VICTORY: TWO is happy that Google finally removed a dangerous app that is aimed STRAIGHT young people with toxic messages of guilt and shame,” tweeted the Truth Wins.
Hoylman also excited about Google’s move, but said the tech giant should have acted earlier.
TWITTER ERROR REMOVED ‘#BISEXUAL’ NEWS AND PHOTO SEARCH RESULTS
“It took months of activism by the Truth Wins and Change.org and today Human Rights Campaign, to Google to pull up a conversion therapy app. I called Google in the press about this in January. They took no action. The credit is due for the final act—but Google now has a serious internal audit to investigate why it has been so long delayed.”
The app has already been removed from Amazon, Apple and Microsoft platforms, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Prior to the outrage about the Living Hope Ministries app, Google had scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI) due to the policy as a same-sex health benefits and transgender-inclusive health care.
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“Sometimes known as “reparative therapy,” so-called “conversion therapy” encompasses a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim that the change of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression,” explains the Human Rights Campaign, in the CEI. “Such practices are rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades. Minors are especially vulnerable, and the conversion of the therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.”
Sixteen states and Puerto Rico have banned conversion therapy.
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