House GOP wants Amazon to sell books promoting 'therapy' banned in 18 states


Republicans push for book advocating anti-LGBTQ 'conversion therapy' to be returned to Amazon.

Congressional Republicans are pushing for a book advocating the dangerous practice of conversion therapy to be returned to Amazon's virtual shelves.

Vice News reported on Friday that the Republican Study Committee (RSC), of which over 70% of House Republicans are a member of, issued a handout asking members to "contact Amazon with concerns" about the removal of books by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi.

"The Republicans want to lobby to get his books — such as 'A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality' and 'Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality' — back in circulation," the site reported.

"These books were available on Amazon until an LGBT activist repeatedly petitioned Amazon to remove the 'homophobic books' from the company's website," the handout said.

Amazon removed the books by Nicolosi in early July, citing its content guidelines after activist Rojo Alan, who himself had experienced conversion therapy, wrote to the company about the dangers of the debunked material.

"Amazon does not allow products that promote, incite or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views," the company's policy reads.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) chairs the House Values Action Task, a subgroup of the RSC, which circulated the document.

Mother Jones noted in 2010 that Hartzler "has made a name for herself as an anti-gay crusader."  Hartzler has said that LGBTQ rights are not a civil rights issue and questioned whether homosexuality is a "lifestyle or they were born that way." She also complained that attaching hate crimes legislation to a bill in 2009 was done to advance "the extreme agenda items of the gay movement."

Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), a founder of the RSC, told Vice that the book should be returned to Amazon as a free speech issue "from a liberty standpoint."

"People ought to be able to have the right to express their opinion," Walker said.

Conversion therapy has been slammed by the medical community for its possible harmful side effects.

"These practices may increase suicidal behaviors and cause significant psychological distress, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, internalized homophobia, self-blame, intrusive imagery and sexual dysfunction," says the American Medical Association. "The AMA opposes the use of 'conversion therapy' for sexual orientation or gender identity."

Additionally, conversion therapy is opposed by the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is also banned in 18 states.

Republican "values" appear to include exposing people to material advocating archaic practices that experts warn could cause serious harm.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.