Pray Away the Gay? Try Google Play!

Should religion justify hate speech and bigotry?

Labeling LGBTQ youth as “sinful” and “diseased” while offering therapy to cure the disease surely counts as hate speech toward minorities. Google is offering an app through its Play Store right now that does exactly that. Let me give you some details and then a link to a petition demanding that Google stop facilitating a dangerous, fraudulent hate group.

But first, let’s get some facts on the table:

Decades of clinical experience demonstrate conclusively that therapy to “cure” LGBTQ people cannot change sexual orientation. Trying to change is dangerous. Conversion therapy is associated with high rates of suicide attempts. Jack Turban, writing in Psychology Today, notes that LGB youth who volunteer for conversion therapy suffer significantly higher negative mental health outcomes (including much higher suicide rates) than LGB youth who don’t try conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy is recognized as being so dangerous that 15 US states ban the practice for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project’s Equality Maps.

So why is conversion therapy available by app on Google Play?

That’s what Truth Wins Out wants to know. They’re an LGBTQ advocacy organization dedicated to fighting conversion therapy. Toward the end of last year, they discovered that Living Hope Ministries works online to teach young people and their parents that same-sex attraction is a “sinful” disease that prayer can “cure.” They offer a mobile app that teaches self-administered conversion therapy techniques and offers referrals to to outside programs.

Early in December, Truth Wins Out asked Amazon, Microsoft, Apple,and Google to remove the app from their on-line stores. Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple pulled the app almost as soon as it was brought to their attention. So far, Google has neither pulled the app nor given any feedback to Truth Wins Out. Read more via Medium