Google deletes 'conversion therapy' app savaged by the LGBTQ community


Sundar Pichai

  • Google has removed a controversial app, named Living Hope Ministries, which encouraged LGBTQ  people to seek conversion therapy.
  • The tech giant came under intense pressure to delete the app from its Play Store, with a petition calling for its removal receiving more than 140,000 signatures.
  • A Google spokesman told Business Insider the company consulted with outside advocacy groups before deciding to act.

Google has deleted a controversial app from its Play Store which encouraged young people identifying as LGBTQ to seek conversion therapy.

A Google spokesman told Business Insider that “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.”

The tech giant has been criticized in recent weeks for not taking action on the app, which is made by US Christian group, Living Hope Ministries, and bears the same name.

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.”

Read more: Google got suspended from a top LGBTQ equality index after failing to delete a ‘conversion therapy’ app

It had been downloaded more than 1,000 times before it was shut down on Thursday. Google followed in the footsteps of Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft who have also nixed the service.

A petition on calling for the app’s removal received more than 140,000 signatures, and a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reportedly described the app as “life-threatening” to LGBTQ young people.

Google was suspended from the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality index on Wednesday after failing to remove the app. The suspension contrasts with Google’s recent performance on the HRC’s index: in 2018, it was given a 100% rating on issues including prohibiting discrimination.

Commenting on Google’s decision, HRC said on Twitter: “We applaud @Google for making the right decision to pull this from their online store, an important step to protect LGBTQ youth.”

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