Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Demand that Apple remove "ex-gay" iPhone app

Exodus International, the notorious "ex-gay" organization, has just 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? We beg to differ. Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ" and 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 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.

This new iPhone app is the latest move in Exodus' dangerous new strategy of targeting youth. In light of the recent wave of LGBT youth suicides, this tactic is particularly galling as it creates, legitimizes, and fuels the ostracism of LGBT youth by their families. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, LGBT teens who experienced negative feedback from their family were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times as vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs (Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University, June 2009).

Apple's app guidelines released in September last year detailed rules on how the company decides what can and cannot be sold through its store: "Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected," the company states.

Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it is giving 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.

Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable. Stand with Truth Wins Out -- demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia and remove the Exodus app.

  1. Scientist Calls on Apple to Denounce and Remove "Ex-Gay Therapy" App
  2. "Curing" Gay People? There's an App for That.
  3. Exodus International Says God Wants Them to "Cure" Gay People Through iPhones

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »


Update
Amazing! After more than 150,000 petition signatures from Change.org members and saturation media coverage, news outlets worldwide are reporting that Apple has pulled an iPhone application launched by Exodus International that claimed to help "cure" gay and lesbian people.

This is a huge, public victory against the dangerous myth that gay young people can and should be "turned straight" -- a falsehood that contributes to the plague of depression and suicide afflicting these kids and young adults. Our friends at Truth Wins Out, the organization that started the petition on Change.org, are absolutely thrilled.

Apple did the right thing because an incredible 151,125 Change.org members -- including you -- stood together to demand it. We spread the word on Facebook more than 55,000 times. And together we attracted the attention of media around the globe, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, and hundreds of newspapers and blogs.

It's simply amazing. Thank you for making this victory possible.

- Eden and the Change.org team

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...