The same day the Human Rights Campaign downranked the company in its index of the best LGBTQ-friendly employers, Google decided to yank from the Play Store a controversial app accused of promoting conversion therapy.
On that list, known as the Corporate Equality Index, the HRC, a prominent LGBTQ rights organization, included a footnote that it was aware of the conversion therapy-style app by Living Hope Ministries in the Google Play Store. The app’s removal was first reported by Axios. TechCrunch confirmed that links to the Living Hope Ministries app are no longer functional.
“… Conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide,” the HRC wrote in its index. “Pending remedial steps by the company to address this app that can cause harm to the LGBTQ community, the [Corporate Equality Index] rating is suspended.”
TechCrunch has reached out to Google for details about its decision and what specific rules the Living Hope Ministries app was found to violate.
Living Hope Ministries, based in Arlington, Texas, denies that it promotes conversion therapy, an institutionally denounced practice in which a usually religious group tries to “correct” an individual’s same-sex attraction. Living Hope Ministry’s website states that it “speaks to thousands of people each year about how they, as Christ-followers, might respond redemptively to those who are struggling with same gender attraction.” The group also notes that it specializes in supporting the “wives of men who struggle with same gender attractions.”
Apple pulled the Living Hope Ministries app in December after facing public pressure and a campaign against the app by the organization Truth Wins Out. Amazon soon followed suit, but the app remained live in Google Play until today.