Australian bookseller Angus & Robertson has apologised for selling books promoting harmful ‘gay conversion therapy’ and pledged to remove the titles from their online store.
It follows an Equality Australia petition calling on retailers, including Angus & Robertsons and Dymocks, to remove the books. Among the books found up for sale were titles by the so-called “father of conversion therapy”, psychologist Joseph Nicolosi.
Now Tony Nash, the CEO of Angus & Robertsons’ parent company Booktopia, has told 7News the company would remove the books and he apologised to the LGBTIQ community.
Nash said the books are “absolutely deplorable” and their sale is “not acceptable for us.”
“We will do anything we can to support all people from all backgrounds just trying to live a normal life.”
He said despite Angus & Robertson’s sophisticated filters, it was challenging in the era of self-publishing to screen for inappropriate or offensive content.
“We’re curating all the time. We’re getting rid of the rubbish,” he said.
“But there’s 27 million active books in the world and there’s 4,000 new ones being written every day.”
A spokesperson added the company had identified a list of titles based on keyword searches. They were now following processes “to vet and remove if appropriate,” they said.
“We’ll continue to do so when we’re prompted by internal alerts as well as customers and media,” the spokesperson said.
‘Conversion therapy’ condemned as dangerous and harmful
Major medical bodies around the world have discredited and condemned the practices as ineffective and dangerous.
Last year, a report revealed the long-term harm the therapies inflicted on Australian survivors’ mental health.
“Conversion therapy”, also known as “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy, is now illegal in many overseas jurisdictions.
It comes after Amazon recently agreed to remove a “conversion therapy” books from sale in their online store following an 80,000-signature petition.
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