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Amazon Says Won't Sell Books Framing LGBTQ as 'Mental Illness'

Representative Image

Representative Image

Amazon explained its decision in a letter to Republican senators who had written to Jeff Bezos last month requesting an explanation for why the book was no longer available.

Amazon told US lawmakers it has stopped selling a book about transgender issues because the company no longer offers material that frames such sexual identity as mental illness, drawing criticism Friday from the book’s conservative author.

The world’s largest bookseller explained its decision in a letter to Republican senators who had written to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos last month requesting an explanation for why “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” was no longer available on the company’s platforms.

“As to your specific question about When Harry Became Sally, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness,” Amazon’s vice president of public policy Brian Huseman wrote Thursday.

In the letter, Amazon explained to senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Mike Braun and Josh Hawley how thousands of authors worldwide, with “disparate opinions,” have self-published on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

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“As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable,” Huseman wrote.

“That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain content.”

On Friday the author of “When Harry Became Sally,” conservative scholar Ryan Anderson, slammed Bezos and Amazon for making “false statements about me and my book” when it was released in 2018.

“Now Bezos-owned Amazon is repeating those falsehoods as justification for cancelling my book.”

Anderson also reposted a 2018 defense of his writings which read: “Please quote the passage where I ‘call them mentally ill.’ You can’t quote that passage because it doesn’t exist.”

The book addresses a variety of issues including gender identity, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Amazon decision comes amid a swirling culture war fueled by conservatives who claim Democrats — and to an extent tech giants — are seeking to “cancel” their voices because they promote opposing or differing views.

first published:March 12, 2021, 22:54 IST