Petition calls for Apple to pull ‘ex-gay’ app from iTunes App Store

“Pressure is mounting on Apple to rid its store of an Anti-Gay App. Over at the Huffington Post, Wayne Bessen writes that Exodus International, the largest Christian organization offering a ‘cure’ for homosexuality, is bragging that Apple gave it a 4+ rating, signifying the absence of ‘offensive content,'” Victoria Pynchon blogs for Forbes.

“I downloaded the Exodus App today to see whether it contained something akin to hate speech which has been variously defined as any communication which disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race or sexual orientation; or attacks or disparages a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group,” Pynchon writes. “At the risk of putting myself at the center of a firestorm of disapproval, I have to say that what I viewed and read on the Exodus app was not hate speech but simply the expression of religious beliefs with which I, and many other people, disagree.”

Pynchon writes, “If the iPad and iPhone have become, by virtue of their app-lization, a version of the public square, we’d be better off letting the public decide whose ideas are more consistent with our national character and whose are not. Though the private sector is entitled to suppress speech and support any crazy idea it wants, we do ourselves a disservice when we exclude from the dialogue anyone who wants to contribute their ideas.

Much more in the full article here.

149 Comments

  1. Hate speech is becoming nothing more than simply a code word for anything left wing elitists don’t agree with. So much for open mindedness and diversity…

          1. I’m generally against censorship. I said I could do without unexamined opinions, but that doesn’t mean Apple (or any other corporate entity) should get to decide whether I get to see them or not.

            Freedom is messy sometimes, but I’d rather have that than be constrained and controlled.

            I just didn’t like being told that I don’t care about the diversity of thought and reasoned discourse. I’m liberal and I would be happy to have a civil discussion on any topic you want. Show me I’m wrong using something beyond assertion and I’ll gladly change my position. You’d have out thought me and I’d thank you for making me more correct in my thinking. But, if all you can do is shout out preconceived notions like an angry parrot, don’t confuse such emoting with thinking. Like I said, diversity of thought is good, not unexamined opinions.

            I enter into conversations to teach, to learn, to solve problems and come to resolutions, not to “win” them; for it is a hollow victory that changes nothing.

            1. @FlamingF (who did not have a “Reply” button next to his/her comment.)

              Unexamined by the individual who holds the opinions. Take you for example. Why do you hold them? Do you believe what you believe simply because someone told you to believe it? If not what are the opinions’ foundations? What good or harm do these opinions do? If you held the opposite belief, what would be the impact? Why is the opinion important to you? How does it affect your life? How does it affect others’ lives? Is your view on this topic congruent with your other beliefs, or are two or more beliefs you hold in conflict? If the latter, which is the correct belief, if either, and why? Does this belief fit with your image of yourself or more importantly, does it move you toward or away from the self you would like to be?

              That’s what I mean by “unexamined opinions”. Most people don’t do that kind of reflection on their own set of beliefs. Thusly they are not truly thinking; just repeating assertions based on little or nothing.

              When such a person has these beliefs questioned, the result is not calm discussion, but rather angry rebuttal, defensiveness, name calling, deflection, dismissive quips and avoidance. These are among the signs that allow us to know whether a person has any foundation under their opinions or not.

            2. You said “When such a person has these beliefs questioned, the result is not calm discussion, but rather angry rebuttal, defensiveness, name calling, deflection, dismissive quips and avoidance.”

              Wouldn’t you say that banning an App because you don’t agree with it’s premise is described above? I do. So if you can’t defend homosexuality, you attack.

        1. ‘Diversity of thought is good. It’s diversity of unexamined opinions that I can do without.’
          Wot? How do you get this ‘diversity’ without allowing previously ‘unexamined opinions’? By definition, diversity of discussion includes the good, the bad, the ugly, the thoughtful, the reactionary, the stupid, the sensible…plus everything that ranges from indifference to anarchy.
          I suspect you want us all to be civilised, to restrict the messiness of truly open discussion that inevitably leads to nowhere but frustration and polarisation; that you would like the ‘noise’ tuned out to allow ‘reason’ to prevail, that sense is given priority over ‘non’sense?.
          Good luck with that.
          Personally I’m sympathetic. After all, it’s the basis of democracy and by accepting it’s principles we inevitably restrict the crazies at each end of the spectrum for the good of the majority. But don’t lets kid ourselves that every facet of society can be accommodated.
          From Apple’s point of view, I think they are just reacting to general public opinion and if it swings the other way they will react again. This is the only sensible way to act without your stance being exposed as cant.

      1. Yes, but why waste time bickering over my side/their side when generalizations are just meaningless words? Some may never get their minds out of high school. We know liberals constrain speech as do conservatives. Do you have a cogent thought to share?

        The article hits on a good point. Let the people decide. If someone is offended, perhaps they shouldn’t buy the app. Just a thought.

        1. This is a petition, so it seems the people ARE deciding. If a lot of people don’t like the app, and its existence damages Apple’s image and business (because there are frankly more tolerant or ambivalent people out there than the buttsex-obsessed morality fetishists that make up the tiny and mostly fictional ex-gay movement) then I would expect them to remove it. The App Store is not a political platform, and Apple has been doing what it can to keep it that way.

          1. Love it! You got it right Chrissy.
            There are so many people who claim they know what god thinks. He speaks to them, apparently.
            So lucky. And he always tells them what they want to hear, coincidentally.

          2. Making fun of people who as adults, reenact the sexual abuse that happened in their live as kids is not fair game, m’dear. He was never gay, he was forced to perform fellatio as a child.

      2. Right… “terrorists” — it’s just a buzzword of the vast right wing conspiracy. That’s an insult to all the people who have lost their lives, been injured, and persecuted by Terrorists. And even though you made such a poor statement, I wouldn’t characterize your comment as hate speech, or be against you maintaining an IOS app that promoted your opinion. The very opposite of what liberals do, just as the OP said.

    1. And immoral behavior is nothing more than anything the rigid right deems is outside their narrow little minds. So much for open mindendness and diversity…

      1. But even that’s a lie. Ask Larry Craig and so many other not-caught-yet conservatives. Here’s a hint, folks… the people that complain the loudest are ASHAMED OF THEIR OWN GAYNESS. And gay they are indeed.

        1. Chrissy, you are on a roll. (Your “app for curing religion” comment below made me laugh out loud.) And so right: With the many revelations of late about anti-gay politicians and such being gay, it is provably true that the louder a person speaks out against homosexuality, the more likely it is that the person has had, is having, will have or desperately wants a consenting gay “experience.” And I’m being plenty charitable there by allowing that their behavior is legal.

  2. At first, and for far too long, they tried to ignore Hitler, too.

    It didn’t work out too well.

    Best to do what MDN does: Shine a bright spotlight on it, don’t try to ignore it.

    1. Perhaps. But no one is forcing anyone to download this app. Simply having it available isn’t a crime, especially if it doesn’t have any hate speech or advocate violence against gay people.

      Apple shouldn’t take sides on stuff like this, no matter how unpopular it is.

  3. Just say that the app was written by a Muslim. Throw in a few “Allah is all compassionate”s, and bam – 100% acceptable. no need to change anything else.

    1. … suddenly Beck and the rest of the Right Wing Bigot squad will declare Apple as an agent of terrorism. Yeah … it’s only the Left who have opinions. Yup. They’re at fault for everything. Except what the Right’s at fault for.

  4. So many are for DIVERSITY until it’s something they disagree with. I say, leave the App alone and allow people to agree or disagree with whether they dismiss it or not.

    1. That’s true I disagree with the Arian Brother hood but if they want to make an app let them. I’m not going to waste my time with them. Freedom of speech means freedom of speech. When we delete an app just because we disagree it is so anti American!!!!!

      1. It’s not a first amendment right. Apple is not the government. It is a corporation. It can “censor” anything it wants. Only the government is prohibited from banning free speech.

    2. I don’t think “diversity” means the same thing to you as it does to many people.

      Diversity of thought/ideas has nothing to do with “diversity.” In fact, it’s almost the opposite. 😉

  5. Exodus is a stupid pig of an organization, wrong-headed and rotten on every level, and harmful to people. No one should subject themselves to that crap. That said, I don’t believe in censoring them, though I do think Apple has the right to decide that this is an organization they do not want to support by having them in their app store. Apple removing them (if they do), is not censorship, only a government has the true power of censorship. I think it would be appropriate, given Apple’s corporate policy, to remove this app from their store. I don’t think it’s required to do so, but it’s certainly far from wrong to remove it.

  6. Apple as a company has long been friendly to LGBT people and extends domestic partner benefits. This is the right thing to do and progressives and libertarians agree on this issue- who you love is your business and LGBT people should not be treated as second class citizens.
    The preponderance of scientific evidence shows that such activity occurs in many species- including humans. Someone who holds to an ancient faith that chooses to view LGBT people as sick and needing to be “cured” certainly have the right to do so. But Apple also has reserved the right to refuse or withdraw apps that display or contain offensive content.
    What this organization does is offensive to LGBT people and most anyone who agrees that such people were born that way. The app should be reviewed and removed if found offensive.

    1. And so, when the inevitable pro-LGBT app comes along, shall we remove it, too, because a significant number of people find it “offensive”? If we keep it up, what will we have left? As a corporation, Apple is not bound by the 1st Amendment, and can do what it wants, but I don’t think catering to interest group sensitivities is any way to run a country or a business. As a non-jailbroken iPhone/iPad user, I would prefer to keep my choices broad and deep.

      1. The fact that Apple has reserved the right to filter apps as part of the EULA and developer agreement changes the game.
        As to the argument that a pro LGBT app would be offensive is specious. Telling someone that the way they were born is a sickness/illness based upon nothing else than 2000 year old writings IS offensive.
        Likewise, advocating freedom is nit offensive while advocating for a repressive dictatorship would be.

  7. as long as Apple doesn’t promote the app through their fantastic store, ie curate the app in one of it’s many app groups, then there is no need for apple to remove or change the apps current standing. As long as the app remains inoffensive, it should be left alone.

    A belief system should not be offensive, but outright bigotry is, and until this app reflects that as a verbal attack on others than it should stay.

    We just need to prohibit from bringing these types of apps into the main public forum in order to render their message inert. The only people that will download this app will be those that already share these convictions.

    1. then again I just thought of how this might affect an homosexual youth. If a young gay man is attempting to use this app to cure his homosexuality, that could be disastrous to this man’s health.

      The app age restriction should be raised to a mature level — but I’m not totally sure I even believe that, I suppose it is a bit of a tricky issue.

  8. This is where freedom of speech becomes a bitch. Exodus International does a lot of harm. Several people have had to go into real therapy to undo their damage. They give false hope to desperate parents; take their money; then when their “treatment” does not work, again, they blame the child and leave the family damaged. Their great success was caught on camera in a gay bar just a few months after he was on the cover Time magazine.
    His excuse was he did not know it was a gay bar. He had been a drag queen, do you think he did not know it was a gay bar. They are a dangerous organization.

    Do I think they should have a app? Yes. I want gay groups to have apps too. I want pot legalized, they do have apps for that. Can those be considered harmful? Of course. I do think the Exodus app should be restricted to adult. As much as I dislike Exodus, as long as they don’t call for excitation, imprisonment, or other violent acts (as a lot of their supporters do) then let them stay. I just hope that they will actually read their bible and understand what Jesus was preaching.

    1. Why not? Don’t think you’ll get very far with many people though. Just wonder if you’re being as narrow-minded as those you proclaim to be against? When I hear someone spout off on a matter of opinion/preference with such absolution, I tend to conclude they are just morons with inflated notions of self-worth.

    1. I was raised in the church and saw very little cure and a whole lot of intolerance, fear, repression, etc.
      Your mileage may vary, but I gave it a thorough chance and I didn’t see it. Like Ghandhi, I wish the professed followers of Christ actually were more like him.

      1. “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” – G. K. Chesterton

        It’s difficult, but don’t give up just because of the bad examples you’ve met – those folks will most likely encounter the fate described below…

        Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Jesus, speaking in Matthew 7:22-23

        1. Sorry, you lose. Mankind predates Judaism by hundreds of thousands of years. How did man get by before Judaism? Your God is only about 6,000 years old according to your Bible.

          My guess is, we created your God, just like we created all the other Gods mankind has worshiped. Virgin birth indeed!

      1. Its not a religion its about a relationship with Jesus christ.
        As far as the app the company who made it might not be the best but it doesnt matter. everyone has the right to say what they want. If you dont like it to bad its a free country.

        I feel for people who dont realize all that God can do for them. But each his or her own. And as far as the church being so bad. I agree many churches are that way. BUT there are just as many churches who preach love but they do preach the bible and they will tell you its wrong to be gay or something but they wont threaten you or do all kinds of weird things. I have seen it all and there are some churches out there who are really hurting christianity.
        Dont judge the whole by a few

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