Google has removed an app promoting conversion therapy following pushback from LGBTQ+ community members.
Formerly available on the Google Play Store, the Living Hope Ministries app promised users a “recovery from same-sex attraction,” Reuters reports.
After realizing that an app promoting conversion therapy was available for download on a Google-owned platform, the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest LGBTQ+ nonprofits in the United States, suspended the tech giant from its annual Corporate Equality Index, published Thursday, which elevates American companies that provide welcoming work environments for their queer employees. The HRC had previously named Google one of the “best places to work for [LGBTQ+] equality.”
Following the HRC’s decision and a Change.org petition with over 140,000 signatures, Google removed the Living Hope Ministries app from the Play Store.
“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,” a Google spokesman said in a statement to Reuters.
Conversion therapy — the subject of two major queer films last year, The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Boy Erased — is banned for minors in Washington, D.C., and 15 states. It’s completely legal in the vast majority of the U.S.
“We applaud Google for making the right decision to pull this app from their online store,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement to Reuters. “So-called conversion therapy is a debunked practice that’s tantamount to child abuse and is proven to have dangerous consequences for its victims.”