(UPDATED) After stripping sales rankings from a variety of gay-themed books, from romance novels to histories, Amazon.com now blames "a glitch" for the changes and promises a fix. Good luck selling that line.

Amazon issued a statement to Peter Kafka of All Things Digital and some other reporters, reading:

"We recently discovered a glitch to our Amazon sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed. We're working to correct the problem as quickly as possible."

The online bookseller now needs to explain why a temporary glitch "recently" discovered has been affecting gay-themed novels going back to at least early February, when (as we noted previously) former gay stripper Craig Seymour saw the sales ranking on his memoir disappear even as Diablo Cody's stripper memoir retained its sales rank. Seymour complained at the time and eventually resolved the issue, so it's not like Amazon didn't have warnings of the problem before this weekend.

Amazon also needs to explain how said glitch appears to have systemically targeted "hundreds" of gay romance books and autobiographies over the past two days while leaving so many similar straight books alone.

The company will no doubt try to do that without reminding its homophobic customers that it is selling hot man-on-man and woman-on-woman and whoever-on-whoever purple prose for gays to read and do lord knows what else at the same time. Better start working on the statement right now if you hope to put it out anytime next week.

Previously: These Books Too Gay for Amazon

UPDATE: Former Amazon.com gay and lesbian studies editor Ron Hogan now works at GalleyCat as senior editor. He raises doubts there about Amazon's "glitch" excuse, pointing first to Seymour's experience in February and then to the fact that Amazon originally called this a "policy" decision (see here) before contradicting itself and calling it a "glitch".