Amazon, the nation’s largest seller of online books, stopped marketing A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality by Joseph Nicolosi on Wednesday. The author was a California therapist who promoted and practiced conversion therapy before his death in 2017.
Amazon stopped selling the book in response to complaints that conversion therapy has been condemned as dangerous and ineffective by every leading medical and mental health professional organization.
Conversion therapy is particularly dangerous for minors, putting them at risk of suicide and depression. According to a recent study by the Family Acceptance Project, adolescents who are subjected to conversion therapy are nearly three times more likely than others to attempt suicide.
“As a conversion therapy survivor, I know firsthand the damage this fraudulent practice inflicts on minors and their families,” said Mathew Shurka, conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Born Perfect. “I spent five years in conversion therapy as a minor after my parents were lied to by a therapist who convinced them that being gay is an illness that can be cured. Amazon is doing the right thing to stop marketing this devastating and fraudulent practice.”
“Conversion therapists deliberately target vulnerable families who are searching for information about how to respond when they learn that a child is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Rather than providing these families with accurate information, these unethical practitioners exploit them for financial gain, falsely claiming that parents can prevent their children from growing up to be gay or transgender. No reputable business should be complicit in marketing this quackery.”
Born Perfect, a project of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, is leading the national campaign to pass laws protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. To date, the campaign has worked to enact protections in 18 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 50 municipalities.