- Google has removed an app, named Living Hope Ministries, that encouraged LGBTQ people to seek conversion therapy.
- The tech giant came under intense pressure to delete the app from the Google 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 acting.
Google has deleted a controversial app from the Google Play store that encouraged young LGBTQ people to seek conversion therapy.
A Google spokesman told Business Insider the company decided to remove the app from the Play store “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.”
The tech giant had been criticized in recent weeks for not taking action on the app, which is made by a US Christian group, Living Hope Ministries, and bears its 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.”
It was downloaded more than 1,000 times before it was shut down on Thursday. Google followed in the footsteps of Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft in nixing the service.
A petition on Change.org calling for the app’s removal received more than 140,000 signatures, and a representative for the Human Rights Campaign reportedly described the app as “life-threatening” to LGBTQ 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 advocay group’s index: In 2018, it was given a 100% rating on issues including prohibiting discrimination.
Commenting on Google’s decision, the group 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.”