Online petition demands Facebook remove anti-gay advertising
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW (Photo by Jason McELweenie)

A new Care2 petition is calling on Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, to end gay conversion therapy advertising after Facebook removed ads that appeared in youth LGBT user feeds.

The Care2 petition, started by LGBTQ activists, has already gathered 5,000 signatures.

“Homosexuality is not a mental disease,” stated the petition.  “It is not a choice nor is it an addiction. Yet, despite the plethora of widely respected medical organizations that have reiterated the fact for decades, many parts of our society continue to treat gayness as an option that can be overcome.”

The Care2 petition was started after reports that, “Some users reported seeing the ads promoting 'sexual purity' and 'gay cures' as a result of the other Facebook pages they had shown an interest in.”

It added, “Conversion therapy also known as ex-gay or reparative therapy is the process of trying to change one's sexual orientation or gender. The practice can cause serious feelings of self-hate, depression and even provoke suicidal thoughts or acts according to some.”

The Facebook advertising policy states that, “Ads must not discriminate or encourage discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, gender identity”.

“Conversion therapy directly discriminates against people who identify as LGBTQ as it perpetuates the belief that something is wrong with the person and that it can be "cured", stated the Care2 petition.

The British Government recently announced it was banning “conversion therapy” as part of an action plan to better manage discrimination against LGBT people in the U.K.