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March 24, 2011

IconApple pulls the plug on ‘gay cure’ app

An app designed to “help” individuals “struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction” has been withdrawn following a furious campaign by LGBT rights groups.

Apple removed the app from its iTunes store after over 150,000 people signed a Change.org petition organised by Truth Wins Out, a US-based group created to counter what they describe as the “ex-gay myth”. A competing petition on the same site that calls upon Apple to retain the app has so far gained ten signatures.

“This app is a slap in the face to Apple’s customer base and serves as a platform to spread misinformation and blatant anti-gay bigotry,” argued Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen.

The free app linked users to videos, podcasts, and social networking pages belonging to Exodus International, an evangelical Christian organisation that aims to “minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality”.

“We are extremely disappointed to learn of Apple’s decision to deny equal representation in the public square,” said Exodus International president Alan Chambers. “Ultimately, this issue comes down to what we, as a culture, believe about equality and the freedom to express our beliefs.”

Truth Wins Out spokesperson John Becker denied that the issue was one of censorship. “This is not a question of free speech, but of stopping a virulently anti-gay organization from peddling false speech at the expense of vulnerable LGBT youth,” he said. “We are grateful that Exodus has lost at least one platform with which to disperse its dangerous message.”

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Ruth Pearce

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