Author Ryan Anderson refuted Amazon's claim that he equated LGBTQ+ to mental illness which the retail giant cited as reason to delist his book, "When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment."
Thursday last week, Amazon sent its response letter to Senate Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Josh Hawley of Missouri who questioned the unlawful delisting of Ryan T. Anderson's book from their platform.
"As to your specific question about 'When Harry Became Sally,' we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness," said Amazon Vice President for Public Policy Brian Huseman.
Anderson, who is also the president of the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. refuted this by explaining the two occurences of the phrase "mental illness" in his book.
"The only problem here is that my book does no such thing. Nowhere have I ever said or framed LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness," Anderson told The Daily Signal.
"The phrase "mental illness" does occur in the book twice-but not in my own voice: once quoting a "transwoman" writing in The New York Times, and once quoting the current University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins," Anderson said.
The author said Amazon's timing to the delisting of his book is "highly suspicious" and that the move is an attempt to distort the "marketplace of ideas" which is, in effect, an act of deception to well read thinkers.
"The timing of Amazon's move is highly suspicious, coming the weekend before Congress voted on a radical transgender bill-the so-called "Equality Act"-of which I am one of the most outspoken critics. It seems that Amazon is using its massive power to distort the marketplace of ideas and is deceiving its own customers," Anderson said in his email.
In February, Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Mr. Jeffrey Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com Inc., concerning the removal of Anderson's book. They argued that "the internet is at its best when it is an open marketplace of ideas that brings people together to share, learn from one another, and engage in a range of commercial activities."
"In its decision to remove Mr. Anderson's book from its platforms, Amazon has openly signaled to conservative Americans that their views are not welcome on its platforms," said the lawmakers per The Christian Post report.
Writing for The American Conservative, New York Times' bestseller author Ron Dreher assessed that Amazon's decision was not driven by science but by politics.
"Amazon is using its unparalleled cultural power to make the public debate over a controversial issue go away," wrote Dreher.
As part of the solution, Dreher proposed that Congress "hold hearings about the effect of Amazon's monopsony, and Big Tech's power, on free speech and debate." He also suggested that conservatives create "a big online retailer for dissident books."
"If Amazon refuses to sell books that characterize LGBT as mental illness, why would they still sell books that characterize this as sinful? You know, books like The Bible," said Dreher as a side note.
Those who want to get Anderson's book, "When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment," can still get it via Barnes & Noble.