Monday, March 21, 2011

There's An App for That: Hate, That Is...

As Apple continues its campaign for world domination, its less-humanitarian side is showing again. The company has been criticized previously for its refusal to allow gay-friendly applications to be sold in its App Store, yet it has endorsed anti-gay applications. While in the past, several of those have been removed after protests, a new one cropped up a few weeks ago.

Exodus International, the organization that claims to bring "healing to homosexuals," has released a free iPhone application. According to its description in the App Store, "Exodus International is the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality. With over 35 years of ministry experience, Exodus is committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth. This app is free and provides access to current news, information and resources from Exodus International."

Exodus International is an "ex-gay" group, or one that purports to "heal" people of their homosexuality, mostly through prayer and scare tactics. According to Truth Wins Out, Once Exodus has attracted new clients, prayer and denial are the tools they use to supposedly "change" GLBT people into heterosexuals. This process can involve mind control that alters behavior, but not sexual orientation.

There is no evidence to support the efficacy of the techniques or therapies employed by Exodus, but there are mounting examples of people who claim to have been harmed by the organization. Attempts to change sexual orientation are also deemed to be ineffective and potentially dangerous by mainstream mental health professionals. In fact, the American Psychological Association, after extensive study, determined that "ex-gay" therapy is unsuccessful and harmful.

To date, a petition started by has more than 118,000 signatures calling for Apple to remove Exodus International's application, but Apple has yet to respond.

How many more teenagers need to take their own lives, how many more people must die in hate-related violence because organizations like Exodus International push the lie that gay people can "pray it away"? Apple needs to realize that while it makes a great deal of money from the gay community, it cannot do so at the expense of that community.

I hope that Steve Jobs and his company come to their senses soon. Sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot legitimately be changed, but ownership of personal electronics can be.

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