A number of LGBT+ rights groups have accused Google of refusing to remove a religious app that allegedly promotes conversion therapy from their store.
The app, which is called Living Hope Ministries, has already been removed by Apple, Amazon and Microsoft – but Google has not yet taken the app down.
LGBT+ rights groups have told Axios that they have written to Google and asked to meet with representatives to raise their concerns in person about the app.
However, they claim that they have not yet received a satisfactory response from Google. They say that there have been “staff level” discussions, but they have not yet met with Google executives to discuss the issue face-to-face.
Human Rights Campaign said the app was ‘life-threatening’ to LGBT+ young people
A spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign told Axios that they have been urging the tech giant to remove the app because it is “life-threatening” to LGBT+ young people.
They also claimed that the app “clearly violates the company’s own standards.”
“Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have taken action to remove the app from their platforms, but so far Google has refused despite our warnings about the dangers.”
– Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign continued: “Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have taken action to remove the app from their platforms, but so far Google has refused despite our warnings about the dangers.”
An organisation called Truth Wins Out started a Change.org petition earlier this year where they ask signatories to “demand” that Google “stop peddling dangerous ‘pray away the gay'” apps. At the time of publishing, the petition had been signed by 140,000 people.
The group called on the tech giant to “remove this hate app that marginalises and stigmatises LGBT people.”
The app allegedly compares homosexuality to ‘an addiction’
“By any standard, the app is awful,” they continue. “It brazenly compares homosexuality to an addiction. It casually trashes LGBT people as living ‘destructive lifestyles.'”
“Living Hope, the creator of the app, repeatedly belittles transgender people as suffering from ‘gender confusion.’ The group refers to gay men as ‘sexually broken guys’ who can ‘walk out of false identities’ and claims, without evidence, that the ‘gay lifestyle’ is ‘spiritually and physically harmful.’”
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“The surprising silence from Google is in stark contrast with the corporation’s stated policies of inclusion, respect and diversity.”
– Truth Wins Out
“When Truth Wins Out previously brought the hate app to the attention of Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, the companies acted with responsibility and swiftly removed it from their online stores.
“The surprising silence from Google is in stark contrast with the corporation’s stated policies of inclusion, respect and diversity. So why hasn’t the company taken action?”
PinkNews has contacted Google for comment. No response had been received at the time of publishing.
Apple removed the Living Hope Ministries app last year
Apple removed the Living Hope Ministries app from their store last year after Truth Wins Out brought it to their attention.
The organisation behind the app exists to help people “seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ,” according to DallasNews.com.
The group said last December that they would be asking Apple to reinstate their app.
LGBT+ charity Stonewall has branded conversion therapy as “unethical” and “harmful.”
The practice is defined as “any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity.”