Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Apple removes ‘gay cure’ iPhone app
Apple appears to have removed a ‘gay cure’ iPhone application after almost 150,000 people signed an internet petition.
The app, from Christian group Exodus International, was given a 4+ rating by Apple, meaning it is deemed to have no objectionable content.
The group claims that people can find “freedom from homosexuality” through prayer and practises conversion therapy.
Gay rights activists called on Apple to ban the app, saying that the Christian group uses “scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients”.
This morning, the app was no longer available in the iTunes store. Apple has not commented.
In November, the company removed another app by an anti-gay group. The Manhattan Declaration app disappeared from the iTunes store after 7,000 people signed an internet petition against it.
Truth Wins Out, the group which began the petition, has urged people to “keep up the pressure” on Apple.
The group said last night: “Does that means Apple has pulled the app, like more than 140,000 customers have asked? It’s hard to tell; Apple hasn’t issued an official statement yet. Until they do, it’s important that we keep up the pressure, so that Apple hears loud and clear that ‘ex-gay’ therapy deserve no place in the app store.”
Yesterday, a spokesman for Exodus International said campaigners were trying to “stigmatise” the group and denied it was trying to “cure” gay people.
Calls for Apple to remove the app were bolstered by a University of Minnesota professor who claims Exodus International has misrepresented his work on sexuality.
Dr Gary Remafedi said he wrote to Apple founder Steven Jobs and its interim CEO, Tim Cook this week to demand the app was withdraw.
He wrote that the app “erroneously cites my research in support of claims that homosexuality can be changed. … Associating my work with that of the ex-gay ministry and other unfounded treatments is professionally injurious and grievous”.