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Republican group wants Amazon to resume selling ‘gay conversion’ books

Reiss Smith July 19, 2019
Amazon vans lined up

Amazon vans head to a distribution centre to pick up packages for delivery. (Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty)

A prominent group of Republican politicians which counts Mike Pence as a former member reportedly wants Amazon to resume the sale of books which promote so-called gay conversion therapy.

The Republican Study Committee, a group made up of 145 of the 199 Republican house representatives, reportedly requested that members contact Amazon “with concerns” about its “censorship” of the anti-LGBT+ tomes.

“In recent days, Amazon has banned the sale of several books addressing unwanted same-sex attraction,” a handout issued on Wednesday (July 17) said, according to a Vice News report.

“It is not clear that any of the banned books have violated an Amazon policy, but rather that the company is choosing to censor speech.”

Amazon removed Joseph Nicolosi conversion books

The books in question were authored by Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality who was died in 2017. He was known to some as the “father of conversion therapy.”

Surprise: none of these therapies work.

According to the handout, Nicolosi “penned multiple books to assist men struggling with unwanted homosexual attractions, feelings and lifestyles,” or, as a petition signed by 82,000 put it, manuals which try ‘to change one’s sexuality on the belief that homosexuality is a mental disorder.”

“Surprise: none of these therapies work,” the petition’s author Sky Gray continued.

“In fact, they can and have lead to mental health issues including depression, self-harm, and suicide.”

Amazon labelled hypocrites for selling Hitler books

According to Vice News, the handout urged members to read a story from the Federalist which accused Amazon of hypocrisy because it continues to sell books by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Benito Mussolini.

“The gay community, a supposedly oppressed and marginalised group, wields an extravagant amount of power today, and does so without regard for the rights of anyone who chooses to not support them,” the article argues.

Joseph Nicolosi.

“When you can dictate what books someone can have access to, that’s power. When you do so and get no blow-back by hardly anyone (if anyone at all) in the mainstream press that claims undying commitment to the secular sacredness of the freedom to read, that is a frightening amount of power.”

Nicolosi’s books were removed from Amazon’s UK and US sites in early July, however as of Friday (July 19) other books promoting so-called conversion therapy are available on the UK site.

Gay conversion book ban could be ‘bigger fight’

According to Gray, a total ban could become more difficult to instate now that the Republican group is involved.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that the conservatives are in support of conversion therapy; they’ve made it clear they are in the past,” Gray told Vice News.

“It looks like this is going to be a bigger fight than previously anticipated, though I knew it would be an uphill battle. Looks like the hill just got a lot steeper, with this knowledge in mind.”

Several members of the Republican Study Committee—which only admits current house representatives–told Vice News that they weren’t aware of the lobbying initiative, however at least one, North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, said that he agreed with it in principle.

PinkNews has contacted the Republican Study Committee for comment.

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