Over 100,000 sign petition demanding Apple pull ‘ex-gay’ app from iTunes App Store

Online activists Change.org has posted an open letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs which is accompanied by an online petition signature form that has currently garnered over 106,000 signatures.

The letter demands that Apple remove the dangerous Exodus International “ex-gay” iPhone app from the company’s iTunes App Store. Exodus International’s app endorses the use of “reparative therapy” to change the sexual orientation of their clients.

Change.org claims that the app “targets vulnerable, suicide-prone LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a ‘sin that will make your heart sick’ and a ‘counterfeit,’ contributing to and legitimizing the ostracism of these youth from their families.”

“Apple’s app guidelines released in September last year detailed rules on how the company decides what can and cannot be sold through its store: “Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected,” the company states,” Change.org writes. “Apple would never allow a racist or anti-Semitic app to be sold in the iTunes store, and for good reason. Apple’s approval of the anti-gay Exodus International app represents a double standard for the LGBT community with potentially devastating consequences for our youth.”

Currently, the Exodus App remains available for download from Apple’s iTunes App Store.

Related article:
Petition calls for Apple to pull ‘ex-gay’ app from iTunes App Store – March 18, 2011

167 Comments

          1. Liberty is dead because people like you don’t know how to live and let live. It’s amazing to me how the same people who claim to champion freedom are so selective in it’s application.

            1. Said the pot to the kettle….

              Seriously, did you actually read what you wrote!?!

              And they say American education sucks. Imagine that….

          2. Judging from your complete lack of reading comprehension, I’d say you are a product of the woefully inadequate education system of which you speak. Get over your hurt feelings, Smitty. I was stating a fact, which you again prove to be correct. And FYI, most of my education (through 7th grade) was spent overseas. See what happens when you ASSume?

      1. Our country has frequently been taken over by the vocal majority. (In this case, the homosexual agenda). What’s interesting is that the arguments often don’t cut both ways.

        1. Homosexual agenda?? It’s nothing more than folks wanting a fair shake and not being put down or devalued over misplaced fear or silly bigotry. You infer that it’s something nefarious like they seek to make everyone gay or something. It’s NOT communicable. Christ!!! Get a friggin education and start worrying about something that matters for change.

    1. This is a free country! In fact the government has gone out of its way to ensure your First Amendment rights! They have established “Free Speech Zones” (google that -Wikipedia has an interesting article). In fact there may even be a free speech zone in your state. If not, just check for states near-by. I’m almost sure you’ll find one.

  1. This is a difficult one for Apple. If they remove it, they will be accused of censorship. If they don’t, they will be accused of being anti-gay.

    Either decision is a losing proposition for them.

    1. Gay, LGBT (or however it spelled), whatever, but if an app routes users into some non-scientific practices that may end up tragically, then heck with it, let Apple be censor (the more so it Apple already has “well established” reputation of “censor”).

    2. This is, indeed, a difficult situation. Anytime you must address a freedom of expression type of issue near the boundaries of two opposing ideologies, it is difficult to come out unscathed.

      In the end, Apple’s approach to resolving this dispute may be more important than the resolution, itself. It will set a precedent that may trigger or inhibit future disputes of this nature. Complicating the issue is the fact that Apple is a public company that would probably rather not be in the middle of an ideological dispute. Such are the burdens of fostering transformative technologies.

      My hope is that Apple finds a way to apply their app guidelines in a thoughtful and reasonable manner. I would not like to see Apple simply bow to pressure from any group, or from either side of an ideological rift. That is antithetical to the principles on which this country was founded. We should all strive to act with careful judgment after due deliberation and with regard to the protection of freedom of expression, especially in those instances in which we do not wish to do so.

    3. Can someone point out a specific passage that is anti-gay? To me, it’s reading like pro-Christian. IE, if you are Christian and have what you consider a problem, we can help you use your faith to combat it.

    1. In some ways, although I do not believe that Apple is lawfully subject to uphold the First Amendment in its private business.

      But in the spirit of the First Amendment, I hope you would feel that same if the proverbial shoe were on the other foot. If not, then it is not a “First Amendment” issue as much as an instance in which the agenda of the protestors aligns with your personal preferences.

    2. Have you read the 1st amendment? Is Congress passing a law outlawing apps?

      This has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

      Apple is a private company. They can “ban” any speech they want.

      Freedom of speech is not the right to be heard.

      Now, if congress stepped in and made a law banning speech then this would be about the 1st amendment.

  2. This organisation and the fiction it promotes is dangerous to vulnerable people, resulting in numerous suicides every year, and many more who are profoundly damaged by this religious rubbish. The methods used by Exodus are discredited by every reputable psychologist, psychiatrist, and doctor and professional health care body.
    Apple banning this app would be no different to it banning a “how to” app showing people how to bleed a person to rid them of evil spirits.

    1. Behavior modification is okay as long as there is there is no scientific support for abnormal, abhorrent, and amoral behavior but not for moral, spiritual, and normal behavior based on religious texts?

      Makes total sense.

  3. Oh Boo hoo!!

    What are all these gay sympathizers afraid of? I know they can’t naturally reproduce themselves, but history has shown they are in no danger of a “gay” extinction.

    There are lots of people who struggle with being gay. Do these people not have rights Exodus is an organization that seeks to help these ones. Their goal is not to eradicate homosexuality; that is impossible.

    I think it is time to remove the “special” status given to homosexuals. Life is tough, get used to it and, no pun intended, move on.

    1. Perhaps we should issue some manifestos on the benefits of lobotomies and shock therapy to correct the aberrant behaviors of those irrationally adhering to various religions? In some cases, it depends on your perspective…

      LGBT youth are persecuted by their peers and highly impressionable and vulnerable. I would not wish harm to come to any of them. But I also do not wish to inhibit expression. My belief is that censorship of this document would be of limited benefit. The best solution would be to improve support for these individuals at home and at school, such that their self esteem enables them to ignore information of this nature.

    2. “There are lots of people who struggle with being gay.”

      That’s like saying “There are lots of people who struggle with being black.”

      If being black is a struggle, do you suggest that black people become white?

      1. I’m thinking you’re referring to blacks in a white society. That’s completely different because you’re talking about societal differences. Homosexuality stems either from genetic abnormal expression or emotional and sexual abuse. Save your circular reasoning tactics for the high school debate club: This is the real world.

        1. I’m talking about gays in straight society, and it’s actually exactly the same. Gay people only struggle with being gay because they’re told they’re evil sinners and god hates them.
          And ‘abnormal’ is hardly the right way to describe a good 10% of the population. A natural variance, maybe, but since homosexuality has been around in the human species forever, only an idiot would call it abnormal.

          1. To compare the difficulties of homosexuals with that of racial minorities is an utterly false dichotomy used to push an otherwise unjustified agenda of forced social change. To be black, or asian, or even an arab is an utterly neutral element of the person. Sexual activity, however is not neutral on any of the social, psychological, biological or moral planes. In each of these four (and other) fields homosexual attraction and acts are at best disordered and at worst gravely damaging to the individual and those around him.

            1. While I still am not sure what you wrote in your response to ChrissyOne, what I am certain of is the fact that you have not read anything on the history of “Race”. If you had you could not make such boneheaded statements. Go and crack a book and get back to the rest of us when you are well versed enough to be able to speak on the changing discourse and ideology on your supposed “natural” (or did you say “neutral”. . . whatever that is. . .) idea of “race”.

            2. Of course homosexuality is either a choice or a disorder. Can you imagine if it wasn’t? It’d make a whole lot of anti-gay people would feel reeeaaaal uncomfortable about their bigotry. Like they were being racists or something.

              So that’s why queers can’t be natural.

              But, what the hell, why NOT take the same stance on race? I say being black is, if not an actual choice, some kind of mental problem. And with enough therapy and Bible verses, Jesse Jackson could just go *poof!* and be white. I don’t mean metaphorically, like acting white, I mean his skin color would literally change to white. Dark pigment is actually sin accumulated in the body, y’all! Cleanse your sin and ye shall be white!

          2. It’s a well known fact that, during the years before a nationwide ID system, black that could “pass” would move to a different area and take on a white identity.

            So, yes, they struggled with being black and, given the opportunity, they took it.

            So, no, being gay is not like being black and it’s time to end that stretch of an argument.

          3. I abhor anyone who purports to know whom God hates. When I read the bible my understanding is that God loves all of us, although there are a number of things that we do that he hates. All of us are guilty of doing at least some of these things. I certainly am.

            I dispute your assertion that 10% of the population is gay. I have yet to see a confirmed study that puts the number above about 2%

            1. The number you give is from the government survey pushed by President Reagan. The number is 3% for people who self identify as homosexual. It also had 8% identify themselves as bi-sexual: plus or minus 3%. That puts in line with the Kinsey study that included both. So GLBT does represent about 10%, GL is about 3%. My problem with both surveys is that they left out old people. I would love to see a sex study of people who have had a lifetime of sex.

          1. To whom you are sexually attracted is not a choice – paedophiles have been saying so for years. Yet society still recognises their ability to choose how one acts on sexual attractions, and the ability to choose this remains unchanged across all people, regardless of their normal or disordered sexual desires.

      2. There are people that were molested by a male family member (for my friend, it was his grandfather) during their formative years. For them, like any mistreated child, their idea of normal was twisted from that point on.

        Why assume that a group of people doesn’t exist just because it may make your view of the issue much simpler?

        1. Rape is not about sexual orientation. A child and young teenager can’t understand the impact that sex has on them. They can’t give consent to something they do not fully understand. I hate the term molestation for child rape, it makes the crime less offensive. Listen to George Carlin’s bit on “shell shocked” to “PTSD”, it puts it into perspective. Rape in adults cause mental problems too, all victim need good therapy. The sexual orientation of the rapist and victim have nothing to do with a criminal attacking the weak. For decades the term homosexual was used for child rapist. Look up the video “The Homosexual” on YouTube; a 1950’s school film about child predators, the victim gets punished too. The anti-gay bigots have been using this BS for too long. Also, most child rape is heterosexual.

          1. I’m just saying that I know one individual who identifies as gay who points to a traumatic experience in his past as being the reason for a current behavior. All sorts of behaviors can be attributed to past experience, fear of spiders, irrational behavior when a door closes, so, I tend to believe him.

            Also, your entire post just appears to be copy/pasted from some unrelated post, unless you’re claiming that rape is the ONLY trauma that a child can be subject to.

  4. This organisation and the fiction it promotes is dangerous to vulnerable people, resulting in numerous suicides every year, and many more who are profoundly damaged by this religious rubbish. The methods used by Exodus are discredited by every reputable psychologist, psychiatrist, and doctor and professional health care body.
    Apple banning this app would be no different to it banning an app which shows people how to bleed a person to rid them of evil spirits.

    1. Stuart, should we try to read between the lines and wonder whether you speak from personal “testimony?”

      “The methods used by Exodus are discredited by every reputable psychologist, psychiatrist, and doctor and professional health care body.”

      All of the experts you cite above, none have any use for or experience with matters of faith; apparently neither do you.

      Do you think your prejudice bashing against Christianity is going to elevate your perspective which has an overwhelming bias towards homosexuals?

      1. “All of the experts you cite above, none have any use for or experience with matters of faith; apparently neither do you.”

        Faith tells us that the world is flat and less than 10,000 years old. It also tells us to stone our wife if she’s not a virgin.

            1. wow! worty idiot! you can’t make sh¡t like this up!!

              y’see, he thinks that she thinks that.. well, the earth is… whatever, nevermind.

        1. There is ‘faith’ and then there is ‘misguided’ faith.

          You are also, again, citing societal circumstances and not a specific ‘ideal.’ Leaders often imagine and push their own interpretations that have nothing to do with discerning a reasonable divination of a Diety.

          I would argue we are suffering such misguidance with our current leader.

        2. I don’t read anywhere in the bible that the earth is flat.

          And just for fun, Science is built on the ability to prove things through repeatable observable experimentation. It is impossible to prove scientifically that the earth is older than 10,000 years or that evolution occurred as the prevailing theories suggest, no matter how many scientists believe it beyond any doubt.

          1. Lmao!!! Religious zealots say the darndest things…
            I would rebuke your statement but I see that you are too far gone. It’d be like trying to reason with a crackhead. Or a rock. Only one that’s less than 10,000 years old, lol

          2. Two words: radiocarbon dating. Unless the meaning of the words “scientifically” and “prove” is not what I (and the rest of the educated world) think it is…

            1. Radiocarbon dating is based on an extrapolation of recent observable history onto a time frame that is orders of magnitude longer than the observable period. Mathematically, the potential error is extremely large.

      1. 15% seems like a number made up. I have read it more like 60% success rate And regardless of the numbers, if there are some people who sincerely want to try to change their sexual orientation, why should you limit their access to information? Don’t we all have the right to self-determination?

        1. Dude, you’re using too much common sense. Dumb it down a little oe they won’t get it.

          Besides, you should know when they say choice they mean THEIR choice!

          😉

        2. Actually, any success is a made up number. No one can change their sexual orientation, certainly not with the information EI provides.
          That said, I’ve gone on record saying I support leaving the app in place, just so we can all get a good look at these people. People like you.

          1. “No one can change their sexual orientation, certainly not with the information EI provides.”

            Ever heard of L.U.G.s.? (Lesbians Until Graduation)? Or Anne Heche?

            I’m not saying all LGBTQ can change their sexuality. What I am saying is that for many people it is for them worth exploring. Most gay activists want to keep hammering “sexuality is immutable” nonsense. There may be a number of reasons why one person may have same-sex attractions that differ from another person. What is important is that both sides of the evidence be presented. I proudly stand behind my friends who decided to change the orientation as it wasn’t consistent with their beliefs, as well they saw heterosexuality as (*gasp*) superior.

        3. Michael Jackson notwithstanding, you are as likely to turn a gay man into a straight one as you are to turn black man into a white one.

          The ‘Success Rate’ depends on what they qualify as success. Suppressing one’s genuine sexual desires is not the same as just turning them off.

          Do you genuinely believe somebody would ever be capable of turning you into a gay man, even with your wholehearted support for the endevour? Can you actually imagine yourself being turned off / grossed out by the image of a nude young women and aroused by the image of an aroused young man??? I sure can’t!

  5. What utter and complete nonsense. Gay activists want to purpetuate the idea that sexual orientation can’t be changed. Robert Spitzer, who helped declassify homosexuality as a disorder in 1973, now says there is evidence the possibility of change exists. Even many LBGTQ theorists discuss the fluidity of sexual orientation.

    In America, not only to we have the right to free speech, but the right to self-determination. If the possibility exists that some people can change and they want, they should not be denied this right. This is coming from someone who personally knows two men and 3 women who did change their orientation.

      1. Well, you do have a right to free speech in the app store. It’s just that Apple also has the right to pull your app from their store. That’s their freedom of speech.

        It’s really rather clever.

      2. True, but there is no real reason to ban it since it doesn’t inspire hate or bigotry against LBGTQ. All it says is change exists and is possible if you want it. If Apple were to remove it that offends some people personal notion’s of sexuality because of political correctness, where will that end?

        1. Wherever Apple wants it to end. They’re a private company. They can ban your speech from their store. It is their right. Just as it is your right to ban books from your own home.

    1. Perhaps you should stop to consider why LGBT people might want to “change.” Could it be because of intolerance and hate rather than some innate feeling of “wrongness” as a crime against nature as some religions purport to be the case? Things are seldom so cut and dried as you might wish to believe. Yet you disregard much of the discussion on this subject as “utter and complete nonsense.”

      1. perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Do you start every post with the word perhaps?

        And what is the efficacy of introducing an hypothetical explanation of why LGBT people might want to change? Do you live in a sophist netherworld? or “perhaps” you like to play the Devil’s advocate?

        1. Yeah, kingmel. Thinking is hard. And what if we anti-gays realized we might be to blame somehow, huh? Huh!? What then, Mister Science!?

          How dare you, I mean really, how dare you. Why don’t you just go back to polishing your Mao Zedong statue and leave MDN alone, you homosexual Satan worshipping lesbian shemale werewolf?

        2. Hannity? Is that you? Or PERHAPS it’s Glenn Beck? Awesome how you completely ignore his point and instead attack him for using PERHAPS. PERHAPS his asking a hypothetical question was meant for you to question your own perception and PERHAPS allow for more questions that would PERHAPS further your worldview. PERHAPS your closed-mindedness renders you incapable of rational, thoughtful discourse.

    2. So will, are you saying YOU could change YOUR orientation and become gay? I’m asking. I really don’t think I could, but you sound pretty sure. Could you?

  6. Apple is not the government so the 1st Amendment does not apply … but surely those of you wailing about free speech knew that already.

    Apple has selectively censored apps in the past for adult content. It’s their store and they can make the rules.

    1. Thank you Mike….I was going to write that. Free speech only applies to what the government can do to speech, and I am a passionate defender of the First Amendment. As disgusting as Westboro Baptist Church is, I supported the SCOTUS ruling that they have a right to be disgusting.

      But Apple can censor as much as it wants. The app is hateful, and should be eliminated. It’s simple really.

  7. People, you take iPhone apps WAY too seriously. Do you really think that an app is going to cause someone to commit suicide? Hello?

    This app cannot be put in the same category as antisemitism. They are not saying “kill all the gays”. Sexual orientation is a personal decision and they feel that they are helping people decide.

    FWIW: I am neither gay nor homophobic. I do, however, believe that anyone who downloads this app is looking for something and has a right to hear what the app maker has to say. First Amendment wins until it can be clearly proven that this app caused harm. IMHO, that scenario is extremely unlikely…

    1. Well, no. Being gay is not a “personal decision”. If it is, when did you decide to be straight? I know I just liked girls. I never made a choice.

      ——RM

          1. Never in any other topic will you hear white people praising black people SO MUCH as in a discussion about being gay. 🙂

            Can’t being gay stand on it’s own merits as what it is instead of saying it’s a race? Comments like that are disingenuous to the complexity of being someone who’s sexual requirement is the same sex.

        1. @worty — so you are saying YOU could choose to be gay? YOU could choose to be turned on by a man’s hairy butt?

          I’m amazed by that, personally. I couldn’t make that choice, I really couldn’t. But you are so certain it’s a choice, I can only assume you could make that decision yourself. I mean, you’re SO CERTAIN a person can chose to be gay. Like you know something about it.

          1. Dmitri,

            Playing devil’s advocate here, I would say that worty wouldn’t need to be turned on by a man’s hairy butt. If worty bends over and allows himself to be penetrated anally by another guy… and that’s ALL you know about him sexually, then is he or is he not gay?

            Or would we have to run a full psychological profile in order to determine that? Gay is a fairly nebulous term the way it’s being described here (and recently).

        2. What? Says who? You?

          I certainly never chose to be gay. Why would I? All my brothers, sister and parents are as straight as straight can be. I don’t have any gay relatives or friends that I grew up with. So, why would I just decide when I started becoming sexually active… “gee, I’m gonna be gay from today onwards”.
          Just because you never chose to be straight doesn’t mean I chose to be gay. Twat!

          1. Who’s to say that no one chooses to be gay, Ross, YOU?

            I wouldn’t think that you’re trying to say that your PERSONAL experience is 100% identical to everyone in the world right now that’s participating in homosexual activity.

            1. Umm… yeah. I’ll side with the guy who, you know, actually has PERSONAL EXPERIENCE instead the guy who claims to know without ANY experience (unless maybe you do. In which case you should say so because it would lend your post credibility). Ross’ post still has more credence than anyone’s on here since he’s LIVING it. And why would you expect all LGBT people to have the same experience? It seems to me that you’re taking a very simple-minded approach to this whole discussion.

            2. I misread Ross’s post. I thought he was making a blanket statement like worty5, but he properly limits the scope of his statements to himself. Ross isn’t saying that NO one chooses to be gay, just that he didn’t.

  8. I just visited the Change.org website. I find it to be extremely intolerant and bullying in its online behavior, in all the activities it proposes. I propose that everyone stop visiting it, and stop supporting all activities with change.org. It is a hateful and intolerant group that should not be allowed to exist.

  9. I am a died-in-the wool lefty-liberal. I give to Democrats and post on Daily Kos. So, I’m really conflicted here. On the one hand, I find the very concept of this app disgusting. But on the other hand, do I really want to condone censorship?

    This reminds me so much of the time I spent in grad school. The school would occasionally allow some pretty nasty characters to speak there, the worst being a Holocaust revisionist. This (rightly) infuriated the liberal-minded undergrads. So how did they respond? By organizing counter-programming and education panels to greet the speaker when he arrived? Of course not. Invariably, they would DEMAND that the school ban the speaker from the campus.

    Such a stance is counter-productive. It tells all the neutrals that you don’t have any argument other than “SHUT UP!!!!”. And I know that’s not the case.

    Can’t we create a counter-app that would be guaranteed to appear in every app store search that brings up the anti-gay app? That’s how you win an argument: by demonstrating that your argument is superior, not by demanding that your opponent be silenced.

    ——RM

    1. You don’t sound like a lefty. I call shenanigans. If you really are one I can guarantee you won’t be in a few years; too rational. (probably a Rove plant!)

      Private censorship is fine. You do it everyday. Defending the first amendment is not the same as providing a megaphone for all speech.

      We have a right to speak, we don’t have a right to be heard. We don’t have a right to have our App hosted in a private company’s store. We don’t have a right to speak at a podium at a private university. These invitations are privileges granted to us by private individuals.

      So don’t worry about “censorship.” Apple’s freedom of speech includes the right to ban speech they don’t like from their store.

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