The Indiana attorney general has warned Amazon his office is prepared to take legal action after the digital retail giant removed “When Harry Became Sally,” a book opposing transgender activism.
PJ Media reported AG Todd Rokita told Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos his office will be “watching closely and with interest how Amazon continues down this path of censorship and the impact it has on Hoosier consumers.”
“My office will not hesitate to take action if and when Amazon’s practices harm consumers and violate Indiana law,” Rokita said.
The AG wants to know who made the decision, and why, to dump the book by Ryan T. Anderson, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
“While Amazon issued a statement providing that it will not allow books that call LGBTQ+ issues mental disorders, Mr. Anderson has since indicated that his book does no such thing,” the attorney general noted. “I also ask that you inform me of any statements by Amazon that inform consumers that Amazon makes decisions whether to offer certain products based on considerations of ideology.”
Rokita noted that “Mein Kampf,” “The Communist Manifesto” and other such books are available on Amazon.
“Certainly, those books have contributed to more death, pain, suffering, and destruction than Mr. Anderson’s ever could,” he said. “The pernicious effect of Amazon’s actions will be to severely limit consumers’ options because of a desire to crush opposing viewpoints.”
He said Amazon “has decided to put its thumb on the scale to determine what can and cannot be published and therefore what people can and cannot read.”
“If people disagree with Mr. Anderson, they should be free to rebut his arguments or not purchase his book,” the AG said. “Censorship by one of the world’s largest corporations is the stuff of would‐be despots and tyrannical regimes and is wholly inconsistent with the foundation of our Republic.”
Amazon had explained it won’t allow books that regard homosexuality and transgenderism as mental disorders.
Mental health professionals previously considered those behaviors just that. Homosexuality was removed from the list in 1973 amid LGBTQ activism.
Amazon has responded to senators who asked for an explanation for its canceling of Anderson’s book, a 2018 Amazon bestseller.
In a letter to Sens. Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley, Mike Braun and Mike Lee, Amazon admitted that some products on its site are “objectionable” to some customers.
“We reserve the right not to sell certain content. … We have chosen not to sell books that fram LGBTQ+ as a mental illness,” Amazon said.
The company claimed its actions were not “part of a broad campaign against conservative material and voices on Amazon’s platforms.”
Amazon didn’t mention what it might do with the Bible, which condemns homosexual behavior.
The senators wanted to know: “Amazon Web Services hosts countless websites related to religious, politically conservative, classically liberal, and other content that falls outside the realm of acceptable woke groupthink. Are these sites at risk?”
The company, through public policy spokesman Brian Huseman, said, “AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect our customers’ right to determine for themselves what content they will allow.”
But Amazon said those services are separate from its bookstore, over which it controls editorial decision-making, based on the company’s own agenda.
The Washington Examiner reported the author of “When Harry Became Sally” found out his book no longer was available on the platform through a person who wanted to buy it.
Anderson and Roger Kimball, the publisher of Encounter Books, said, “Amazon is using its massive power to distort the marketplace of ideas and is deceiving its own customers in the process.”
They wrote: “Everyone agrees that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that causes great suffering. There is a debate, however, which Amazon is seeking to shut down, about how best to treat patients who experience gender dysphoria.”
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