Google drops LGBT+ 'conversion therapy' app after outcry

Google has removed an app that advised people on “recovery from same-sex attraction” from its download store after one of the United States’ top LGBT+ charities suspended the tech company from a gay and transgender rights ranking.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) removed Google from its annual Corporate Equality Index, which ranks U.S. companies on the benefits they offer LGBT+ staff, over the Living Hope Ministries app. The index was published on Thursday.

HRC said the app was “life-threatening to LGBTQ youth” for its support of “conversion therapy”, which is based on the belief that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is a mental illness that can be cured.

“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 an email early Friday.

Articles available on the app, when accessed on Thursday by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, included “Keys to Recovery from Same-Sex Attractions”, which featured advice such as “accept that you must make sacrifices to be free and healthy”. Read more via Reuters