Controversy Surrounds Anti-Gay App
March 24, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
Gay activists have called on Apple to remove an iPhone application that offers "a cure" for homosexuality.
The Christian group Exodus International has developed an app that claims to offer "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." The information provided by the program aims to associate certain gay behaviors as a transitory phase in youth, as opposed to a fixed sexual orientation.
According to media reports, Apple gave the application a 4+ rating, which means that it contained no objectionable content. Victoria Pynchon, a columnist for Forbes, downloaded the app and found that the program does not feature hate speech, but instead expresses religious beliefs with which users can choose to agree or disagree.
Nonprofit activism group Truth Wins Out claims that it has collected more than 100,000 signatures in favor of Apple removing the Exodus app. The organization claims that the Christian ministry uses "scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions" in an attempt to recruit customers.
University of Minnesota researcher Dr. Gary Remafedi has sent a letter to Apple founder Steve Jobs requesting that they remove the app from its online store. Remafedi argued that Exodus has twisted the work of legitimate scientists, including himself, in order to fool clients that they can convert from gay to straight.
Although Remafedi's letter condemned the application's content, he admitted that Apple is legally protected by the 1st Amendment.