Published: Sun, March 31, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Google drops LGBT+ 'conversion therapy' app after outcry

Google drops LGBT+ 'conversion therapy' app after outcry

San Francisco: Facing vast pressure from the LGBTQ civil rights advocacy groups, Google has removed a controversial app that advocated for gay conversion therapy.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) removed Google from its annual Corporate Equality Index, which ranks u.s. companies on the benefits they offer LGBT+ staff, over the Living Hope Ministries app.

Google said it had removed the app from its Play Store after "reviewing our policies".

"It took months of activism by Truth Wins Out and Change.org, and today Human Rights Campaign, to get Google to pull a conversion therapy app".

After recently earning a ideal score on HRC's Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which measures LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace, Google had its rating withheld until the app was deleted.

"It is still unfathomable why Google stubbornly defended the indefensible for months when the hateful and destructive content in this app should have been self-evident".

The LHM has denied the allegations that it is involved in so-called conversion therapy, a widely condemned "treatment" that some Christian and conservative groups have over the years sought to use to attempt and force people to change their sexuality.

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HRC president Chad Griffin said that Google had made the "right decision". "So-called conversion therapy is a debunked practice that's tantamount to child abuse and is proven to have risky consequences for its victims", Griffin said in a statement. Google followed in the footsteps of Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft who have also nixed the service.

March 29, 2019, 6:27 a.m. EDT Google has pulled the app from its app store.

"Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades".

Its website stated: "Living Hope Ministries hosts the largest, world-wide online support groups for men and women impacted by same-sex attraction".

It has been branded "life-threatening to LGBTQ youth" by the United States-based LGBT+ charity Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Google is under pressure to remove the app. At least 15 states have banned conversion therapies, as have the territories of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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