Computer firm Apple has approved an iPhone and iPad application which claims to ‘cure’ gay people.
The app, called Exodus International, is targeted at ‘homosexual strugglers’ and teaches them that gay people have a choice about their sexuality.
Its Christian makers claim the app gives them a chance of ‘freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus’.
The free program, which is available in Britain, was given four out of five stars by Apple, which means it is deemed to have ‘no objectionable content’.
But the computing giant is now under pressure after gay rights campaigners started a petition to have it withdrawn.
U.S. pressure group Change.org said that Exodus’ claims are ‘hateful and bigoted’ and send out an appalling message.
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”,’ Change.org writes on the petition, which has got 35,000 signatures.
‘This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences. Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable.’ On Apple’s iTunes store customers were similarly appalled.
Keith Hopster wrote: ‘As a straight man i find this app offensive and totally inappropriate, we have young gay people around the world killing themselves as a direct result of religious beliefs and Apple allows this.
Exodus, which claims to be the world’s largest ministry for individuals and families ‘impacted by homosexuality’, has defended the app.
The organisation claims it is a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders and should be allowed to remain on iTunes.
Its leaders have also said they are ‘committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth’.
Apple donated $100,000 to defeat California’s Proposition 8, the state’s ban on marriage equality, so we’re not sure who dropped the ball on this one. Our bets are on Steve Jobs pulling the plug on Exodus before the end of the week.
What do you think? Should Apple prohibit any and all applications that might be deemed homophobic? Or should they make questionable products available and leave it up to consumers to decide?
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