Book Ends

Amazon just struck back at right-wing homophobes and Marco Rubio is pissed

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In a huge win for LGBTQ equality, sales giant Amazon has clapped back at right-wing outrage, declaring it will not sell any book that labels being gay or transgender as a mental illness.

Cue the lament.

The news follows an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos from Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Josh Hawley of Missouri. In it, the four lawmakers protested Amazon’s banning of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, a book of dubious authority that labels transgender people as mentally ill. The Senators have accused Amazon of curtailing right-wing speech by banning the book.

Amazon, however, responded to the allegations by making clear it will not sell any book that characterizes queer identity as illness.

“We carefully consider the content we make available in our stores, and we review our approach regularly,” Amazon wrote in a statement, responding to the letter. “As described above, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”

“[Amazon Web Services] 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,” the letter further stated. “We simply require that our customers comply with our terms of service which, are designed to prevent encouraging and inciting violence that could harm people. AWS operates as a separate business from Amazon’s retail organizations and AWS’s terms of service and customer sign-up process are separate and independent from Amazon’s bookstore.”

Marcio Rubio took to Twitter to rant against the company.

“Let me get this right,” Rubio said in a video posted March 13. “Amazon gets to be the most woke corporation on the planet and every day is proving their wokeness by banning books, not allowing traditional charities to participate in Amazon Smiles, denying President Trump access to Amazon’s web services, and denying his campaign that, every day we’re getting messages about how woke Amazon is.”

“That’s fine. Be as woke as you want,” he continued. “I have no problem with that. But when it comes to tax cuts, then they want our help… why don’t you go get your woke, liberal, leftist friends and have them help you. Here’s the bottom line: it’s very simple for me. The largest, richest company in the world and a champion of wokeness, all it does is beat up on conservatives versus hard-working Americans who want to get paid a little bit more and have better work conditions.”

How telling that paying workers a pittance doesn’t seem to matter to Rubio, unless of course a company wants to stop the spread of false and dangerous information. Rather, he feels vilified because he can’t pick on LGBTQ people so easily.

Interesting priorities, Marco.