According to The New York Times, Amazon has restricted searches and inventory related to LGBTQ topics in the United Arab Emirates.

This was after the government pressured them to do so. In the UAE, same-sex relationships are illegal, and sex acts can lead to imprisonment and fines.

Several books on LGBTQ topics were taken off the shelves in the UAE, including Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist (and Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer: A Memoir), and search results for more than 150 keywords have been hidden.

These search terms include broad keywords like "LGBTQ", "pride," and targeted queries such as "chest binder to lesbians" and "transgender flag".

The Times points out that Amazon was not warned of any penalties by the UAE government before imposing these restrictions.

Nicole Pamper, Amazon's spokesperson, told the Times that they are committed to diversity and equity and believe that L.G.B.T.Q.+ rights must be protected. We must comply with local laws and regulations in all Amazon stores worldwide.

This news came just days after Amazon's Pride march in Seattle. It highlights the challenges US tech companies face when trying to promote certain ideals while adhering to international laws inconsistent with these principles.

Amazon has been criticized for its hypocritical attitude to LGBTQ issues within the US. The Seattle Pride organization that organizes the Pride march has recently severed all ties to Amazon because it supported anti-LGBTQIA+ lawmakers.

Seattle Pride stated that they could not partner with any organization that actively harms our community by supporting discriminatory laws or politics.

Krystal Marx (executive director of the nonprofit) claimed that Amazon had offered $100,000 to the group to make various changes to highlight the company's sponsorship. This included changing the parade's name to "Seattle Pride Parade presented by Amazon".