Apple is facing increasing pressure to remove a so-called “gay cure” application from its iTunes shop for software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices.
More than 110 000 people had electronically signed an online petition at a change.org website calling for Apple to remove the Exodus International application from iTunes.
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Exodus, a Florida-based Christian group that advocates freeing oneself from homosexuality through religion, has publicly condemned the petition as an assault on free speech and an improper spin on the application’s purpose. On its site it claims that “Exodus International is the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality”.
The free software program links users to Exodus information including videos, podcasts, a Twitter feed, and the group’s page at social networking service Facebook.
Exodus boasted at its website that Apple ranked its program as containing “no objectionable material.”
“This application is designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders,” Exodus said.
“We hope to reach a broader demographic and readily provide information that is crucial for many seeking hope and encouragement,” the message continued.
The online petition, which was picking up momentum on Monday and Tuesday, expressed shock at iTunes approving an app from “a notoriously anti-gay organization” that used “scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions”.
Exodus advocates “reparative therapy” to change the sexual orientation of homosexuals.
“No objectionable content?” a message at the petition page at change.org asked rhetorically. “We beg to differ. Exodus’s message is hateful and bigoted.” – AFP