Utah Sen. Mike Lee joined three other senators in a letter demanding Amazon explain why they decided to no longer carry an anti-transgender book. The book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” by conservative Ryan Anderson, started selling on Amazon’s website in 2018 but was removed on Feb. 21. In the description of the book, the author wrote, “This book exposes the contrast between the media’s sunny depiction of gender fluidity and the often sad reality of living with gender dysphoria.”
Anderson is known for his vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and is currently president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an ultra-conservative think tank.
Lee and senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent the letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
“Over the past 72 hours, Amazon has been unable to provide a sufficient explanation as to how Anderson’s book, which reached the top of two of Amazon’s best-seller lists before it was even released in 2018, supposedly violated a vague, undefined ‘offensive content’ standard,” the letter read. “‘When Harry Became Sally’ prompted important discussions in the national media and among policymakers in 2018 and remains one of the most rigorously researched and compassionately argued books on this subject. By removing this book from its marketplaces and services, Amazon has unabashedly wielded its outsized market share to silence an important voice merely for the crime of violating woke groupthink.”
“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,” the letter continued before listing six demands from the company.
Amazon responded with a letter stating, “As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable.”
“That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain content. All retailers make decisions about what selection they choose to offer, as do we,” the letter continued. “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.”
Rubio tweeted a rant against Amazon in response.
“Let me get this right,” Rubio said in a video on Twitter. “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.”
Twitter users were quick to fire back.
“Cry more. Amazon isn’t the government and if you don’t like it, Victor gets the spoils. That’s capitalism,” tweeted user RoseFromTheAshs.
Lee currently has nine books for sale on Amazon’s platform.