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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apple: Not a Cure

By: Jessica Lerner (Class of 2013)

There has recently been much controversy over the Apple “Gay Cure” application. This application or app was aimed at Christians who were struggling with their sexuality. However, Apple faced pressure to remove this app, as some saw it as offensive.

The app provided its users with “regular Christian news updates and information about religious events 

covering issues related to homosexuality.” Also, reparative therapy has been suggested as well. 

Exodus International, a group who believes in the use of religion to cure homosexuality, released the app. According to an Exodus member, Jeff Buchanan said the app was meant to “provide the information and education for people who are looking for an alternative to unwanted same sex attractions.”

Almost immediately after its release in late February, there was outrage from many critics. People found this app to be offensive and insulting. An online petition from Change.org gathered more than 140,000 signatures demanding that Apple remove the app. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals are reported to find the app disrespectful.

According to the guidelines Apple released last year, racist and anti-Semitic apps are not allowed. “Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected,” says an Apple employee.
The company blocks the “offensive” and “mean-spirited” apps involving blasphemous and risqué content, but it was marked “4+” by the company, meaning the app was judged to have “objectionable content.”

Apple therefore allowed the “Gay Cure” app to be sold for sometime before pulling it off the app store, even though it did target a group of individuals. Ceasing to the pressure, Apple removed the app and did not offer a statement on its views. 

Exodus shared its views, as they were not trying to cure homosexuality, but promote “holiness.” They believe “that one can live a life that is congruent with their faith.”

This is not the first time that Apple has removed apps. Back in November, an app called “Manhattan Declaration” was removed. An Apple representative explained it “violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

“Manhattan Declaration” was described as being “anti-gay” and “anti-woman.” Again, there was an online petition from Change.org requesting the removal of this app.

The President of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, tweeted, “It’s official, the @ExodusInl App is no longer in the @AppStore. Incredibly disappointing. Watch out, it could happen to you. #freedom.”

While Chambers expressed his views, he also made a jab at Apple. It is true that other apps besides “Gay Cure” and “Manhattan Declaration” have been removed. While not everyone agrees with these decisions, others find the constant removal of certain apps annoying.

Some think that Exodus has a right to its freedom of speech, but was the speech just a hateful message 

towards homosexuals or personal opinions from religious views?