Internet power player Google has finally removed from its Google Play store an app from Living Hope Ministries that promoted so-called ‘conversion therapy’ to LGBTQ youth.
After a months-long campaign by Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out to stop the spread of the app, plus a petition signed by 142,000 people at Change.org, and the Human Rights Campaign withholding its Corporate Equality Index score from the company, Google announced the app had been pulled.
“After consulting with outside advocacy groups, reviewing our policies, and making sure we had a thorough understanding of the app and its relation to conversion therapy, we’ve decided to remove it from the Play Store, consistent with other app stores,” Google said in a statement.
“We are delighted that Google finally backed down and deleted a dangerous app that targeted LGBTQ youth with toxic messages of guilt and shame,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “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. We hope this sends a powerful message that ‘pray away the gay’ products are unacceptable and have no place in a decent and civilized society.”
HRC’s President Chad Griffin also released a statement:
“We applaud Google for making the right decision to pull this app from their online store. So-called conversion therapy is a debunked practice that’s tantamount to child abuse and is proven to have dangerous consequences for its victims. Google and other platforms that have pulled this app are taking an important step to protect LGBTQ youth.”