Central PA's LGBT News Source

pa rep: Remove ‘Ex-Gay’ App

Google’s commitment to LGBT community questioned

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Truth Wins Out applauded PA State Representative Brian K. Sims (D-Philadelphia) for his statement denouncing Google for its continuing refusal to delete a dangerous “pray away the gay” app that it is still hosting at its Google Play store. Sims also spoke out against Google’s behavior in a Facebook Live post.

Google’s silence comes in the face of mounting pressure and worldwide media attention, including a Change.org petition hosted by Truth Wins Out that has 133,000 signatures. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon removed the app, after learning of its hateful contents. Sims now joins NY State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) in demanding Google dump the app.

In his statement Sims strongly “denounced” Google’s inaction “for refusing to remove an app that encourages LGBTQ youth to seek out conversion therapy.” According to Sims:

“Google's silent refusal to remove this app speaks volumes about the quality of their commitment to the LGBTQ community. This app specifically targets youth during a challenging period of their lives as they wrestle with their identity in an attempt to connect them to a dangerous practice that is condemned by every reputable professional medical association that exists. Let us be clear, this is abuse -- not therapy.

“I would encourage Google executives to meet with victims of this debunked and cruel practice, as I have, to learn firsthand of the lifetime of pain and anguish they continue to enable. Facilitating this abuse is abhorrently wrong.

“I have introduced legislation to ban conversion therapy in Pennsylvania so the commonwealth can join the 15 states that have done so to protect youth from this abuse that leads to significantly higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicidal ideation. Google’s continued failure to remove this app demonstrates it is on the wrong side of history, science and medicine.

“I call on Google to join Apple, Microsoft and Amazon in immediately suspending this app on its platforms to send a clear message to LGBTQ youth across the country that they are perfect the way they are.”

Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen also weighed in, “It is unconscionable that Google is still offering an online platform to an organization that seeks to marginalize and stigmatize LGBT people. It’s time for Google to join Apple, Microsoft and Amazon in deleting this hateful and dangerous app that promotes prejudice and fosters discrimination.

“We are surprised and dismayed by Google’s arrogance in believing the company is so large that it doesn’t have to publicly respond to the serious concerns expressed by public officials and the 133,000 people who have signed our petition to remove the destructive app targeting LGBT youth.”

Opponents of the app contend it compares homosexuality to an addiction caused by “deep-seated wounds,” trashes the lives of most LGBT people by claiming it “can help homosexuals leave their destructive lifestyles.”

Founded in 2006, Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit think tank and advocacy organization that fights against right wing extremism and anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination.