Saturday, March 19, 2011

Brody's Notes... Another Anti-Gay iPhone App Comes Under Fire- Petition To Remove Now Circulating

By Mark Singer (Washington DC) MAR 19 | Less than four months after the Apple corporation removed the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration app from its iTunes store in November, 2010 after a massive removal campaign staged by pro LGBTQ organisations, allies, and customers, the Christian group Exodus International's iPhone app claiming that people can find “freedom from homosexuality” through prayer and practises conversion therapy is now under a similar removal effort.
A spokesman for Apple confirmed that the app had received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning it was deemed to have no objectionable content.
According to the promotional material on its website, Exodus states that the free iPhone app, which is currently available in the iTunes store, is “designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders."
The executive director for Truth Wins Out, a Burlington, Vermont based non-profit organization that fights anti-gay religious extremism disagrees with Exodus' contention that there is no objectionable intent or content:
“[They] use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called ‘reparative therapy’ to ‘change’ the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of ‘therapy’ has been rejected by every major professional medical organisation. If Apple does not respond, we will take steps to ensure that Apple meets the victims of ‘ex-gay’ ministries and learns how their lives were destroyed,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It is astounding that Apple would allow an app from an organization that promotes gay exorcisms, demonizes LGBT people, and is rejected by every respected mental health association in America.”
Besen said that Truth Wins Out has reached out to Apple several times and the company has not yet responded. He further noted that if Apple does not respond, TWO will hold a press conference featuring individuals victimized by Exodus will be held in front of Apple’s Corporate located in Cupertino, California.
“Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its store, yet it gives the green light to an app written by an anti-gay extremist group that targets vulnerable sexual-minority youth with the message that they are ‘sinful’ and ‘perverse,’” said Truth Wins Out’s Director of Communications and Development John Becker. “This is a double standard that should not stand.”
In a critical development, Truth Wins Out’s petition on urging Apple to dump the Exodus iPhone App exceeded 30,000 signatures Saturday. TWO's Becker pointed out:
"Surpassing the 30,000-signature threshold is important because Apple removed the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration app after only 7,730 petition signatures. The high number of participants who contacted Apple shows momentum and that the company’s customer base is rightfully concerned that Apple is disseminating a product that has ruined many lives."
Truth Wins Out's director Besen also wrote an op-ed for The Huffington Post which led to a highly charged discussion on this topic.


Trab said...

I signed the petition, and made a personal comment as well, telling Apple they need to have more reasoning reviewers for their apps.