2 August 2019 – Angus & Robertson and Dymocks bookstores have reacted swiftly to public pressure calling for them to remove discredited conversion ‘therapy’ books from their stores, following a similar decision by Amazon in July.
National LGBTIQ+ advocacy organisation, Equality Australia, launched a petition for the removal of the books in collaboration with conversion ‘therapy’ survivors this week.
The major book retailers were offering the books of Joseph Nicolosi, the ‘father of conversion therapy’, as texts in their medical section. Nicolosi’s work is not supported by modern medical associations.
“Bookstores offering Nicolosi’s theories as medical texts gives them a level of authority that is completely undeserved”, said Anna Brown*, CEO of Equality Australia.
“Conversion ‘therapy’ is completely de-bunked. It’s ongoing practice, particularly in religious settings, causes great harm to young LGBTQ+ people who are taught that there is something wrong with them, and that it can be fixed – neither of these things are true.
“Nicolosi’s texts are a ‘how-to’ guide for harming people. The only parts of a bookstore they could possibly belong in is the history or fiction sections.
“We will be extending invitations to both Angus & Robertson and Dymocks to meet with conversion ‘therapy’ survivors to thank them and provide guidelines on how to avoid publishing these kinds of texts in the future”, concluded Ms Brown.
Chris Csabs^, a survivor of conversion ‘therapy’ said “I can’t overstate how important it is to have these books removed. We know that they cause harm. We know that they have been responsible for deaths. I congratulate these companies for making the ethical decision not to sell books that teach that people in our community are inherently ‘broken’.”
Nathan Despott^, another survivor said “BRAVE Network and SOCE Survivors are encouraged by the strength of character and leadership demonstrated by the Angus & Robertson CEO. We look forward to Australia’s largest online and bricks-and-mortar booksellers further investigating the ‘ex-gay’ titles that they still sell”.
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