Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships and the LGBT community as a whole are constantly under scrutiny, whether it is by the government, religion, or mass media. But do you really expect your cell phone to be a place where you will be attacked for your sexuality as well? A cell phone app distributed by Apple has been pulled off the market for having been a dangerous app for gay and lesbian teens.
The app, on the market since February 15th, 2011 had promised to ‘free’ teens of their homosexual ways by ‘connecting them with Jesus’. Marketed as a convenient way to not ‘be so gay’, it was aimed at helping teens get away from ‘unwanted homosexual tendencies’ and has since been pulled off the market. At a time when gay and lesbian teens in the LGBT community are questioning their sexuality and even comitting suicide, an app that may confuse them even more is the last thing they need!
Interestingly enough, Apple has historically been recognized as a company that promotes respect for others, rejecting apps that are anti-Semitic or hateful in nature towards certain races. So what about sexual orientation? Does that not count when it comes to personal identification and something that you hold dear?
Gay and lesbian relationships are often ignored by many. This time, however, they are the star in a racy app that was for sale on the Apple store. The app, under fire, now removed from availability to users, promoted the idea of becoming straight by being ‘closer to Jesus’ in the Christian faith. A group called the Exodus International, well known for their efforts or attempts at what almost seems like conversion therapy, or changing homosexual individuals into straight ones with the ‘magic of the Bible’ was the proponent of the app.
A petition, started by outraged Apple iPhone users included the following text:
“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,” the text reads.
Exodus International posted on their website’s blog:
“We are extremely disappointed to learn of Apple’s decision to deny equal representation in the public square,” said Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. “Discrimination of thought and belief obstructs essential dialogue and authentic diversity,” said Chambers noting that Apple provides hundreds of apps specific to the GLBT community and has made the Gay Christian Network’s podcasts available on its iTunes store.
“Ultimately, this issue comes down to what we, as a culture, believe about equality and the freedom to express our beliefs,” said Chambers. “It is our hope that Apple will reconsider its decision and allow our organization to be part of the ongoing conversation about the challenging issues many face today.”
Apparently when Apple execs caught wind of the severity of the impact of the app, they chose to remove it from available apps. It sad to see that the app even made it to the app store in the first place. With so much media and attention puling for equal human rights for all, why would Apple allow for the marketing of this app in the first place? What are you thoughts on the ‘ExodusInl App’? Is this somethig that Apple should have left on the market? How could it impact LGBT relationshps in the United States? Leave a comment below or connect via Twitter or Facebook!