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Amazon has stopped selling books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.
Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, wrote a letter to four Republican senators confirming the online retailer stopped selling “When Harry Became Sally,” a book written by Ryan T. Anderson, a former fellow for the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation.
Anderson’s book, which says being transgender is a mental illness, was previously an Amazon bestseller.
Huseman said in the letter, which was reviewed by Insider, that the platform does not have a “broad campaign” against conservative materials and offers customers content from a wide political spectrum. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the letter.
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“We review both our Content Guidelines for Books and our approach to curating Amazon’s bookstore regularly, which can sometimes result in removal of books that were previously available on our shelves,” Huseman said in the letter, addressed to Sens. Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, Mike Braun, and Mike Lee. “In this case, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”
Amazon declined to comment beyond the details in Huseman’s letter.
The inquiry from the Republican senators regarding the book comes as GOP lawmakers continue to claim anti-conservative bias from tech companies.
Amazon recently halted donations to GOP politicians who voted against certifying Joe Biden as president following the January 6 siege at the Capitol.
Amazon also removed Parler, a social media site used by prominent conservative figures, from its web hosting platform, AWS. In his letter, Huseman denied a question that asked whether AWS denied service to conservative websites outside of “acceptable woke groupthink,” and said the company only requires sites not incite violence.
Though Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has shied away from making political statements, unlike some of his fellow tech executives, he often clashed with former President Donald Trump. Bezos said Trump’s attacks on him and his company led Amazon to lose out on a $10 billion contract with the US government.
Amazon continued to sell Trump merchandise on its platform following the insurrection at the Capitol. E-commerce competitor Shopify removed Trump’s official store and shut down accounts affiliated with his campaign.
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