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Should Apple get rid of “ex-gay” iPhone app?

Everyone knows that Apple is pretty picky when it comes to allowing apps in their tightly controlled marketplace. But though you won’t be able to see any racy gay sightseeing recommendations you can be cured of “the gay.” This has some folks hopping mad, including Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen, who recently wrote a piece for the Huffington Post condemning the app.

Exodus International, the notorious “ex-gay” organization, recently released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is “designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.” The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains “no objectionable content.”

No objectionable content? I beg to differ. Exodus fraudulently claims to offer “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ” and they use a hateful and bigoted message replete with 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 organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn’t just bad medicine — it’s also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims. Equally harmful is the practice of “spiritual warfare,” which Exodus promotes as another weapon in the fight against homosexuality. Most people know this practice by a different name — exorcism.

He goes on to talk about the negative effects this has on already vulnerable queer youth and there are plenty of folks out there using even stronger language to back him up. Besen goes on to make a point about other rejected apps deemed hateful.

Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app written by an anti-gay extremist group that condones violence against LGBT people and targets vulnerable sexual-minority youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a “sin that will make your heart sick” and a “counterfeit.” This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences.

If you would like to sign a petition calling for the removal of the app that already has over 22,000 signatures head on over to change.org and be part of the collective demand.

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