Spain's largest department store, El Corte Inglés, is stocking books that claim to "cure" homosexual children. The books, which have titles like I Want To Stop Being Gay and How To Prevent Homosexuality and feature images of young boys on the front cover, have raised calls for a boycott of the department store.
El Corte Inglés is the fourth largest department store in Europe, and Spanish LGBT groups have campaigned over the past year for the store to drop the offensive titles. All the books are written by American psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of a US group called the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. His website promises that Nicolosi can "help diminish your unwanted homosexuality and develop your heterosexual potential". Sure.
Spaniards are outraged by the idea of Spain's biggest store making money from titles that promote homosexuality as a disease, and have taken to Twitter to express their frustration with the bigoted content of the books. "My plan this afternoon is to go to El Corte Inglés and move all the books on preventing homosexuality to the science fiction section," writes one Spanish Twitter user. A Change.org petition calling for El Corte Inglés to stop stocking Nicolosi's works has already attracted over 20,000 signatures.
In April, the country enjoyed a boost in its gay-friendly reputation when a global survey declared it the world's most LGBT friendly country. Clearly, there's still some way to go. The education coordinator for Spain's LGBT state federation, Uge Sangil, told The Local: "Spain has come a long way in terms of legal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, but on a social scale there’s still plenty to do."
Amazon in Spain and the La Casa del Libro bookshop also stock copies of Nicolosi's books. You can sign this petition to help get these books off the shelves. For a taster of Nicolosi's science fiction views on homosexuality, check out this interview, conducted with Stephen Fry:
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