John M. Becker

Sign the Petition Demanding that Apple Remove Exodus's Bigoted iPhone App

Filed By John M. Becker | March 12, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media
Tags: anti-gay, Apple, Bigotry, ex-gay, Exodus International Ministries, iphone, John Becker

Truth Wins Out has created a petition to demand that Apple remove its bigoted Exodus International 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.

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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 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.

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.

Sign it here.

Crossposted at TruthWinsOut.org


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I downloaded the app and found it to be a substandard web portal with little added functionality. While we wait for things to go through Apple's QC Boards, why not bomb its ratings? http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/exodus-international/id418794954?mt=8

Write a horrendous review, rate it 1/2 star. It's a surprisingly effective tactic. It works for rape apologists ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/exodus-international/id418794954?mt=8 ), so why not us?

I don't think any app should be banned from Apple's App Store. The real problem is that Apple tends to ban apps that compete with their own services or the services of larger companies. To me this is like asking AT&T to block access to certain websites on the iPhone.

So free speech is okay until it becomes more accessible?

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The editorial team in our sole discretion will delete a comment that is abusive, off-topic, LGBT-phobic, or is soliciting and/or advertising.

Wow. Your veiled encouragement of suicide is really outstanding.

You should care about corporate person-hood and how proprietary formats affect free speech. Apple could just as easily ban all apps than simply mention the word "gay" in an attempt to avoid any possible hateful speech. This has already been seen on other devices and online forums hosted by large companies.

Apple has banned apps that allow users to mock political figures and even one that counted down to the ousting of Bush and the Inauguration of President Obama. Their reasoning was that the apps are easily offensive to half of their customers. They've also pulled apps that let users view WikiLeaks.

I would much rather Apple devices not be a checkpoint for free speech but an outlet.

If all this information is available on the Exodus website - what will banning the app do?