Google has pulled a controversial conversion therapy app from its Play Store following an outcry from LGBTQ groups.
Google has been coming under pressure from several LGBTQ groups to remove the Living Hope Ministries app from the Play Store for Android apps. A petition demanding that Google remove the app also garnered more than 140,000 signatures on Change.org.
“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, consistent with other app stores,” a Google spokesman told Fox News, via email.
The app reportedly provides users with recordings of sermons and text devotionals and includes sections for men, women, young people and parents. Living Hope Ministries has claimed that the app does not promote or endorse conversion therapy.
The Sundar Pichai-led company has been taking heat over the app since earlier this year, with LGBTQ advocacy groups the Human Rights Campaign, Truth Wins Out and Democratic New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman campaigning for the app’s removal.
“We applaud @Google for making the right decision to pull this from their online store, an important step to protect LGBTQ youth,” the Human Rights Campaign tweeted late Thursday.
The Human Rights Campaign, which is the country’s largest LGBTQ rights group, had revoked its endorsement of Google over the app.
“VICTORY: TWO is delighted that Google finally deleted a dangerous app that targeted LGBTQ youth with toxic messages of guilt and shame,” tweeted Truth Wins Out.Hoylman also welcomed Google’s move but said the tech giant should have acted earlier.
“It took months of activism by Truth Wins Out and Change.org, and today Human Rights Campaign, to get Google to pull a conversion therapy app. I called Google out in the press about this in January. They took no action. Credit is due for finally acting — but Google now needs a serious internal audit examining why it delayed so long.”
The app has already been removed from Amazon, Apple and Microsoft’s platforms, according to the Human Rights Campaign.