Republican Senators made a giant stink last month when Amazon pulled an anti-LGBTQ book from its site because it frames transgender as a mental illness. They complained to CEO Jeff Bezos the retailer was censoring conservative viewpoints.
The Senators' efforts have backfired in the most spectacular way possible. Their complaint shed light on all the other anti-LGBTQ books by religious conservatives, so the retailer went ahead and got rid of all those, too.
You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need, as the saying goes.
Probably not the outcome the Republican senators wanted. https://t.co/qOGUHFiyK9— HuffPost (@HuffPost) 1615578150.0
Amazon announced its decision to no longer carry books that frame sexual or gender identities as mental disorders in its response to the Senators' complaint.
The complaint was submitted last month by Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana and Josh Hawley of Missouri in response to Amazon's removal of a book titled When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.
Prior to its removal, the book had been available for sale on Amazon's site for three years.
In their complaint to Bezos, the Senators seemed to attempt to frame the book's removal as discriminatory against its author and publisher, as well as conservatives in general. And they accused Amazon of using a "a vague, undefined 'offensive content' standard" to censor right-wing political beliefs in retribution for "the crime of violating woke groupthink," whatever that means.
In Amazon's response, obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Vice President for Public Policy Brian Huseman gave a to-the-point explanation to the Senators:
"We reserve the right not to sell certain content. All retailers make decisions about what selection they choose to offer, as do we."
"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... We carefully consider the content we make available in our stores, and we review our approach regularly."
On Twitter, people couldn't help but laugh at the Senators' efforts blowing up in their faces.
@HuffPost Can't wait for all the #rightwing #boomers to get upset that #capitalism is functioning exactly as they desired LOL— JOrtega (she/her/they/them) (@JOrtega (she/her/they/them)) 1615578275.0
That private sector, I tell you what. https://t.co/bZyU34ozaC https://t.co/gMwLa2iKFH— tommygknowsbest (@tommygknowsbest) 1615578317.0
@Forbes Omg this is exactly like that novel I didn't read, 1948 By Gorge Ohwell!— The Yeen Person (@The Yeen Person) 1615655702.0
@jorgesosa0226 @Forbes @amazon Cry more. Amazon isn’t the government and if you don’t like it, Victor gets the spoils. That’s capitalism— Queen of the Roses 💎⚪️ #BringBackBattleFrontier (@Queen of the Roses 💎⚪️ #BringBackBattleFrontier) 1615565907.0
Plus 1 point for Amazon. Minus 2 points for JABA/SEAB. https://t.co/iNex71kE58— Eric Common (@Eric Common) 1615606211.0
This decision will save #GLBTQ lives. https://t.co/FqpKEv3cvg— Rabbi Michael Adam Latz #BlackLivesMatter (@Rabbi Michael Adam Latz #BlackLivesMatter) 1615598691.0
It’s rare that I can say this, but... good job, Amazon! https://t.co/s5TD6IHYjS— Stefani Goerlich, LMSW-Clinical, LISW she/her ✡️ (@Stefani Goerlich, LMSW-Clinical, LISW she/her ✡️) 1615579473.0
Republicans are just so beautifully dumb. 😂😂 https://t.co/V9WBM4Gsgf— Sondi (@Sondi) 1615617088.0
File this under "Friday Evening Schadenfreude." It's like that old saying, the squeaky conservative wheel gets all… https://t.co/D4ZTVp2GC6— NCLR – National Center for Lesbian Rights (@NCLR – National Center for Lesbian Rights) 1615596940.0
Neither the medical community nor the American Psychiatric Association consider transgender or any other gender expression a mental disorder, and states this explicitly in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.