- Google is resisting calls to remove what appears to be a gay conversion therapy app from the Play Store.
- Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft have all banned the app, created by US Christian group Living Hope Ministries.
- A petition on change.org calling for the app’s removal has received more 140,000 signatures and LGBTQ+ activists are trying to meet with Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
- Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Google is resisting pressure to remove what appears to be a gay conversion therapy app from the Play Store after Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all banned the service.
The app in question is the creation of US Christian group, Living Hope Ministries. It is eponymously named in the app store and has been downloaded more than 1,000 times.
Critics say it wants people to “pray away the gay,” encouraging young people identifying as LGBTQ+ to become heterosexual through a mixture of therapy and prayer.
A petition on change.org calling for the app’s removal has received more 140,000 signatures, and a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign reportedly described the app as “life-threatening” to LGBTQ+ young people.
Axios said “several major LGBTQ+ rights groups” have written to Google CEO Sundar Pichai to secure a meeting about the app, but have been unsuccessful. It follows Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all banning the app.
Google declined to comment when contacted by Axios. The company did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Read more: Google, siding with Saudi Arabia, refuses to remove widely-criticized government app which lets men track women and control their travel
In a statement on its website, Living Hope Ministries describes itself as proclaiming “a Christ-centered, Biblical world-view of sexual expression rooted in one man and one woman in a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage for life.” It adds that “anything less than this ideal, falls short of God’s best for humanity.”
Google’s refusal to remove the Living Hope Ministries app sits uncomfortably with some of its recent actions and statements on LGBTQ+ issues.
In a statement on its website, diversity.google, Google claims it has “embraced a refreshed and accelerated approach to diversity and inclusion”, and in 2015, the tech giant publicly backed the Equality Act, a proposed bill which aims to protect LGBTQ+ people in the US from discrimination.
Google recently faced criticism for its refusal to remove another controversial app. Absher, created by the Saudi government, lets men track and control where women travel.
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