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|Ex-gay? Now there’s not an app for that|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|April 01, 2011 00:00|
In response to an online petition with more than 100,000 signatures, Apple recently pulled an app by Exodus International, a group that preaches “freedom from homosexuality.”
“We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people,” Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesperson, said March 23.
Truth Wins Out, an organization that seeks to counter the so-called ex-gay movement, started the effort against the Exodus app by launching a petition at Change.org. At press time, the petition had 157,130 signatures.
The petition noted that Apple’s policy is to reject “any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way.”
The Exodus app, according to Truth Wins Out, represented an attempt to reach out to LGBT youth and could be dangerous to this age group especially.
“Apple would never allow a racist or anti-Semitic app to be sold in the iTunes store, and for good reason. Apple’s approval of the anti-gay Exodus International app represents a double standard for the LGBT community with potentially devastating consequences for our youth,” the petition states.
“This is unacceptable, and I urge you to take a strong stance against homophobia by removing this dangerous ‘ex-gay’ iPhone app from the store. “
A professor who accuses Exodus of subverting his research, Dr. Gary Remafedi, also asked that the ex-gay group’s app be taken down, Time Magazine reported.
Exodus International said its iPhone application was “grossly misrepresented” and noted that since hundreds of pro-LGBT apps are available in the App Store, “our hope was to see equality represented on the same platform.”
The fight against the app portrayed two myths about Exodus: that it uses hate speech, and that it “cures people,” the group said in a statement on its website, exodusinternational.org.
In the statement, Exodus noted that the app provided a mobile source for content also on the website, including a section against bullying. Exodus also noted that the group preaches putting Christianity above same-sex attraction, and that same-sex desire may not change.
“Exodus acknowledges that pursuing a relationship with God over these attractions won’t always make the feelings go away. They may stay the same, lessen or possibly shift towards the opposite sex. That’s not the point,” the statement read. “The point is to pursue a life beyond attractions, feelings and societal labels that is guided and defined by Jesus Christ and the truth of Scripture.”
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