Amazon’s decision to ban a set of books on gay conversion therapy — a practice outlawed in numerous states — has come under attack by the House’s Republican Study Committee, according to Vice News.
The conservative group, whose membership boasts more than 70 percent of House Republicans, circulated a handout during a Wednesday meeting exhorting members to complain to the tech giant over censorship concerns.
The now-banned books were written by the “father of conversion therapy,” Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, and involve a pseudoscientific method for making homosexual people switch to being straight.
Titles include “A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality” and “Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality”, Vice noted.
But Republicans say Amazon has crossed a line by removing the books from its platform, despite the fact that conversion therapy has been debunked and is illegal in 18 states and several U.S. territories.
“These books were available on Amazon until an LGBT activist repeatedly petitioned Amazon to remove the ‘homophobic books’ from the company’s website. Amazon removed Dr. Nicolosi’s books and those of several other authors on similar topics,” the handout read.
“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.”
However, Amazon confirmed to news outlets that the books were banned because they violate the company’s guidelines.
The Republican handout referred members to an article from the conservative website the Federalist, which accused Amazon of hypocrisy being that the platform sells books by Adolf Hitler, David Duke, and other unsavory characters.
“The gay community, a supposedly oppressed and marginalized 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 says, before hinting that one day the Bible itself might be removed for opposing homosexuality.
As Vice noted, “conversion therapy can have an adverse affect on mental health and increase the risk of suicide, according to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Homosexuality.”
Other books promoting the practice remain for sale on Amazon, even as Nicolosi’s books were removed.