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GOP's Complaint About Amazon Pulling Anti-LGBTQ Book From Shelves Backfires Epically

GOP's Complaint About Amazon Pulling Anti-LGBTQ Book From Shelves Backfires Epically
Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images; Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.