amfAR Celebrates NYC Pride 2018
Amazon sponsors LGBTQ issues in the US, including this Pride float from NYC in 2018.
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

According to The New York Times, Amazon restricted search results and inventory in the U.A. due to government pressure. Sex acts and same-sex relationships are not allowed in the United States of America.

Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist and Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer: A Memoir are two books that were removed from sale in the United Arab Emirates. Broad search terms like lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual as well as targeted queries like "chest binder for lesbians" are included.

According to The Times, it's not clear what penalties Amazon was threatened with before the restrictions were put in place.

“we must also comply with the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate”

The rights of L.G.B.T.Q.+ people must be protected according to a spokeswoman for Amazon. We have to abide by the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate.

The news comes just days after Amazon hosted its annual Pride march in Seattle, and shows how difficult it is for US tech companies to follow international laws that clash with their own principles.

Amazon has been criticized for its approach to LGBTQ issues in the US as well. The nonprofit Seattle Pride group that organizes the city's Pride march recently cut ties with Amazon. Amazon gave more than half a million dollars to politicians who voted against the Equality Act in 2020.

Seattle Pride said they couldn't partner with any organization that supported discrimination and politics. The executive director claimed that Amazon offered $100,000 to the group for a number of changes to highlight the company's sponsorship.