"Ex-Gay" iPhone app gets approval from Apple

Exodus International, a religious group boasting a cure for homosexuality, receives approval for a new app

Published March 18, 2011 10:19PM (EDT)

The iPhone app to cure you of homosexuality.
The iPhone app to cure you of homosexuality.

Apple has a history of banning applications it deems obscene or innapropriate. There was that Shaken Baby app that was removed in 2009 after two days of public outcry, as well as the 5,000 "overtly sexual" programs that the company yanked in 2010.

Still, there seems to be little oversight at the company with regard to religious intolerance and homophobia. Exodus International, a group that claims "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," proudly released an app last week to serve as a "useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders." The app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that Exodus' application contains no objectionable material.

A petition from TruthWinsOut.org demands that Apple remove Exodus' program, saying:

Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT 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.

The group also produced this video highlighting some of Exodus' practices:

So far the petition has 20,000 signatures. Apple was unavailable for comment at the time of this posting. It does strike us as odd that Exodus has been up for 10 days without the tech company at least releasing a statement defending its decision, considering how quickly it responded and removed the Shaken Baby app. If it's a matter of free speech, then that needs to be the official position that Apple is willing to stand behind. If not, the app needs to be removed.

By Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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