UPDATED: Controversy over the Apple approved 'Anti-Gay app'

Exodus International recently launched an app that has the general public and LGBT community in an uproar. The app basically contains a lot of the same information Exodus International has on their website. They focus on individuals who want help dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction. I know many churches and organizations that like to have apps so their members can have easy access to their content.

Most of our readers around TiPb are aware that I am openly gay. While the LGBT community continues to urge people to sign a petition for this app to be removed from the App Store, I personally don't think Apple should be forced to remove this app. That may surprise a lot of people, considering my sexual orientation. To me, Exodus International is simply providing information on their organization. How is this different from a church having a general app in the App Store? Atheists aren't forced to download it. If Apple made us have this app on our phones stock, that would be a completely different story. The App Store approval process should not be made political or ethical.

I respect other people's life choices and religious views, all I ask if they do the same in return. Removing this app would basically say that we do not live in a society where everyone can have a voice. There may be some controversy over some of Exodus' practices but that really is no concern of Apple's. Jeff Buchanan, Exodus International's Senior Director of Church Equipping & Student Ministries had this to say to the Christian Post in an official statement,

"We want to ask that there would be fair and equal representation of religious belief on this platform as is already existing. We would like the spirit of diversity and tolerance that is so valued within the LGBT community."

I personally agree with his statement. After looking over the app, I see no reason why Apple should be forced to pull it. It does not slander or condone negative treatment of gays. It simply provides their information and content for anyone that wants it. What do you guys think? Should Apple be forced to remove it?

UPDATE: Apple has pulled the app from the App Store.

"We removed the Exodus International app from the Apple Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people" [NYDailyNews]

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/03/23/2011-03-23_apple_pulls_gay_cure_app_exodus_international_after_thousands_sign_changeorg_pet.html#ixzz1HYYmu3Nf

[ABC News, The Christian Post]

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

More Posts

 

-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...
-
loading...

← Previously

iPad 2 competition heats up: BlackBerry PlayBook, new Samsung Galaxy Tabs get priced

Next up →

App Store down?

Reader comments

UPDATED: Controversy over the Apple approved 'Anti-Gay app'

171 Comments

Absolutely not. Also ga y here, but I understand and appreciate that freedom of speech is a two way street

That's kind of my view. LGBT is allowed to have apps in the app store, why can't parties that believe something different?
I have several friends and relatives that are religious, they know I'm not. I respect their views and decisions, they respect mine. That's kind of the bottom line. Pulling apple into an ethical/moral debate isn't really fair. To me, LGBT is somewhat out of line here.

I think the issue here isn't that they believe something different, but rather the harmful practices that go with those beliefs.
They're not just some benign group out there saying what they think. They're actively trying to change people's sexual orientation - something every single major mental health professional organization very clearly says is damaging.
I really do appreciate the discussions on this blog and others about this issue, and your article certainly makes good points.
I think framing it as a simple freedom of speech and tolerance thing seems a little naïve, though.
Just my gay two cents. :)

I definitely don't agree that someone can become ungay but the fact of the matter is some struggling with that can actually have that mind set. They make the choice to go to organizations like these for help.
I don't believe in what they're teaching but I also don't believe in organized religion. I suppose it's a freedom to think and do what you want issue. As long as they aren't condoning negative treatment of others, I don't see a reason for apple to get involved

Hey Eric... just to be clear... those 'major professional health organizations' aren't really working with any hard data on the matter. My take on it is that there are both genetic and societal components involved. In some cases, it is probably a mixture, but could lean heavily one way or another. For example, I know people who have NEVER had even an inkling of interest in the opposite sex, while I also know people who were, for all practical purposes, 100% heterosexual until a major relationship went bad. I think we're going to find a similar situation with nearly every other human behavior... and the APA and such were just hit with this before the science data was in (and made a decision, which IMO, was a bad one... you might check what these same organizations said a year or two earlier). If the above is true, then there are probably a good number of GLBT folks who very well might be counseled out of such behavior. The questions is, then, should they be? That is a more of a moral matter, and one which people should be free to express their religious beliefs on (ie: there is no other source of true morals... and I don't think a GLBT person would want to follow the naturalist-evolutionary path for morals on this one!)

Also, perhaps this is a good time to change the filters on comments so you can actually say the G word.

I agree that the lgbt community is out of line here. I actually downloaded the Exodus app when the controversy started... I even expected to be offended, but I couldn't find anything wrong. People will stop sympathizing and uniting behind our movement if our knee jerk response is to silence anyone who opposes us.

Ok, and how about a Ku Klux Klan app, would that be ok? Or a boy love association, would Apple approve those apps?

Lets see here:
KKK the known for; lynching, intimidation, destruction of property, murder, rape, conspiracy, political tampering, terrorism, racism, anti-semetic, anti-catholic, anti-homosexual, and others I am sure I am forgetting.
Exodus International known for; holding a differing view on sexual orientation, claims they can help those who have a homosexual orientation become heterosexual if they want to.
Yes, I can see that these two organization are the same...... NOT. But still as long as the KKK app does not encourage violence or any other harm but just states their views and does not take you to websites that promote violence or harm? As much as I do not like the KKK and their views I would say they can. Again, you do not have to download it.

Honestly that isn't a valid argument in the least. The KKK is violent and causes harm to others physically. You are talking belief and harm here. Apples and oranges really.

Exodus may not be violent, but their "information" does great harm to LGBT youth and others in the LGBT community who are already having trouble accepting themselves as who they are. I think removing this app is the right thing for Apple to do. I don't think they can even be "forced" to remove but they should. It's one thing to have religious beliefs and to broadcast them. That's fine. But an app that suggests one can change their orientation is irresponsible. It's psychiatrically inaccurate and dangerous.

That is going under the theory that they are wrong about the fact that LGBT's can't be changed. It's all a matter of opinion and belief. The belief and opinion coming from the LGBT community is that you can't change; it's who you are from birth. Whereas EI's belief and opinion is that it's possible to change and its a choice. Is the LGBT community right because they believe so strongly of their opinion? Or is the Exodus International group right because they believe so strongly that their opinion is correct? And further more is that Apples decision to make? It's not about your personal belief just as the article above says, you don't have to buy it, you don't have to say whether you're gay or not when you do buy it, it's a choice. The KKK and Hitler and such forced their beliefs upon people, these people are not. The LGBT community wants freedom to be open even though it is a very controversial topic to many people; the thing is the LGBT community doesn't seem to care if it's controversial, it's their right. So why if the LGBT feels like this is something thats controversial, should others lay down their personal rights just because the LGBT community doesn't feel comfortable by it? I feel as though a lot of double standards are being put out there by those in the LGBT community who are against this app.

I agree. There are plenty of distasteful apps out there, but no one is calling to remove them (i.e. fart apps, sex apps, gun and other violence-related apps, etc.). I am both gay and a Christian. While I don't agree that homosexuality can be cured or needs to be any more than a preference for chocolate or vanilla, I don't want my views on the subject censored either. Plus smartphones are a great new forum for learning about religion and spirituality as much as they are a great new gaming platform, and this forum would be squelched if any one viewpoint were touted or denied. My 2 cents.

Ummm... Never mind... The post "above" is now missing... At least on my computer... Let me refresh in case I am just reading it wrong...

Nope still missing... Weird... Wasn't that whole article about censorship? I don't recall saying anything offensive...

Is it because I said "g a y" and "Christian" in the same sentence, or that I referred to spirituality as an important subject? I'm baffled, and offended, here.

No. You didn't say anything offensive Sean. Our filter is set up to filter out words that could be used to bash other members of the site or readers. It doesn't really look at context. So no, you said nothing wrong. We try not and censor but the filters are there to protect our readers from being attacked by other readers. And to keep the comments appropriate for all ages. It is far from perfect though. There's really no way around it at this point.

Okay fair enough! I am officially not offended any more! ;) In any case, my point was that I also agree, because as a g a y man and also a Christian (the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive), I would be disappointed to see apps related to spirituality treated ddifferently than apps related to farts, violence and that dirty dirty three-letter s-word. Cheers, and keep up the good work!

...even though I do not agree with the content of the app itself or that one can be told who to fall in love with. Okay, last comment from me on this topic! Thanks for your patience! :)

1) The app should Stay
2) You Can't be G.a.y and Saying that you are following Jesus. Please choose one ...
3) @Allyson we don't have to know that you are (openly) g.a.y. I don't know what you are trying to promote here. That's your life. Don't share it we us..
4) If you try hard and pray about it, Jesus can un-g.a.y you.
JESUS WALKS ....

You're an A-hole. Plain and simple. if you try hard and pray i hope jesus un-blacks you.
And I'm black. You just don't deserve to be.

1) I agree
2) And when did Jesus tell you that? Because He told me (and I'm not the only one) something different.
3) It takes guts to be open about your life in the face of bigotry. I applaud Allyson for it.
4) And how many successful, permanent cases of this are there? (Answer: not a whole lot, if any!)
JESUS is awesome, but SO many have His Word twisted. It's a shame, IMHO.

There actually are many cases..just saying. And specifically in the bible it tells you.. again just saying.

When you put people to death for cursing their parents (Leviticus 20:9) and allow rapists to buy off the father and marry their victim (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), then you can talk with integrity about what the Bible specifically tells us. (Of course, if the woman above was raped in the city and did not cry out, then you had better stone her to death (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 ).
When you kill all women who are not virgins on their wedding night ( Deuteronomy 22:20,21) , when you return to Biblical customs of sexual slavery ( Exodus 21:7-11 ), you can speak with consistency about obeying Biblical sexual mores.
When you restore the practice of slavery in general to its proper Biblical state in both Old and New Testaments, (Colossians 3:22, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2 ), then you can claim to treat your fellow human beings as the Bible preaches.
Of course, since your name is Angelina, I fear we cannot listen to you anyways, as 1 Timothy 2:12 clearly states:
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."
That is, if truly want to follow the Bible.

You should probably leave this to someone who has beyond a bad Sunday-school understanding of the Bible. Yikes!

Um...
1) You CAN be gay and follow Jesus
2) That's like saying "If you try hard and pray about it, Jesus can make you un-b.l.a.c.k.
At this point I don't care about the app. With so many anti-g.a.y. people sharing their so-called "Christian" beliefs, LGBT persons will never have equal rights.

@iBlackdude we don't have to know that you are b.l.a.c.k. I don't know what you're trying to promote here. That's your life. Don't share it we us..

You sir, are a very ignorant person. People have the right to be themselves and anyone is able to follow a religion and be open with themselves.
The article is about the ga y community and I give my best wishes to ally for posting it and being open with herself.
I do believe that you should be removed from this website, you do have your beliefs, but you are directing them in a hateful way towered others.
In a nice way, g.t.f.o.
Have a wonderful day to you.

If you read this you WILL go to hell...in 7 days or something. Abracadabra, boogey-boogey-boo, 666, oooooooh no!!!!

It's kind of funny to hear a black dude (Whos ancestors were tormented/mistreated because of "the bible") trying to do the same thing to gays.
It's like the best example of Irony.

I'm sorry, but to say they were mistreated because of the bible is incorrect. To say they were mistreated because of peoples take on the bible would be correct.

iWhatever - you are about as ignorant as your poorly constructed hate fueled rant. I'll leave it at that. There's a special place for people like you. I'm sure you hold yourself with a very high regard. Congratulations.

You're hilarious but on a serious note, I think you need some help. The lord is responsible for over 2 million deaths in the book that you value so heavily. Meanwhile that dude in the underworld, the red one with the pitchfork...he's responsible for the deaths of 10 people. No wonder nobody takes your type seriously.

I'm sorry I don't want to disregard what you believe or anything like that; but Christians follow the bible, the bible on numerous occasions speak against homosexuality and what God intended for people. So therefore I feel like maybe theres a mix up in your parenthesis. I'm a Christian who has no harsh feelings towards g.a.y people, but I believe to call my self a Christian is to say I'm following God and to do that I must follow his teachings..

Allison,
Sometimes you have to use a buzz saw where a scalpel might be a better choice, but then you would have to have a full time staff just to read all of the posts.

I am a straight young man who has no issue with anybody's sexual preference, because that their own business. And I think it's perfectly fine. Now, why don't they approve other apps that just "simply provides their information and content for anyone that wants it", but it just so happens that the information they provide is sexual in nature? nothing obscene, just simply providing information about sex, such as safe sex info, facts, Q&A's, and maybe even positions demonstrated by silhouettes. I've heard of apps like that getting disapproved. I don't understand if age would be the factor. Apple has your info from your appleID, which you need in order to purchase apps from the App Store, so they can merely restrict you if you're not of age. Also, the iPhone enables restrictions, so what's the problem?

wth? s.e.x. is censored here? "violence" isn't censored, but we imprison anyone who is violent. and yet s.e.x. is censored in films and other forms of media, but we love to hear the gossip about the latest s.e.x. scandal. the declaration of indepence should probably be revised, "freedom of speech... as long as no one cares". this country is ignorantly retarded to me sometimes. 18 your considered an adult so you can do anything you want without parental consent, except drink until your 21. simply stupid.

"s.e.x. is censored here? “violence” isn’t censored, but we imprison anyone who is violent. and yet s.e.x. is censored in films and other forms of media..."

That's what a delusional religious society, that believes in magical invisible men in the sky, does. And it's only the beginning of a looong list of hypocrisies.

I'm waiting for somebody to call this a "hate-app." That's usually the card pulled when somebody doesn't agree with the LGBT agenda.
Kudos to Allyson for being very level-headed about this.

It is hateful, and it is damaging, it's just subtly wrapped in a wrapper of being helpful or people when it's truly not. It's based on religious teaching that arbitrarily tell someone that A is correct and B is incorrect. It's little more than gentle peer pressure. God says homosexuality is bad, it says so in the bible? Really? So there's something wrong with you? Why is that so wrong? If someone wrote a random book and said having green eyes is wrong, you should go out of your way to wear contacts to change your eyes, would you? If I said that they could damage your sight, would you?
Contacts don't necessarily damage the eyes, but putting unwanted pressure on someone to be something else they are not leads to serious social and adjustment issues. If everyone simply accepted the axiom that it's okay to do or to be whatever you want as long as you don't hurt anyone else, the world would have a lot fewer psychological issues.
It's one big fat social lie that there is something wrong with anyone who is gay. Lying hurts people, so don't do it.
As for the app, at the same time, censorship hurts even more than lying, so I'm against taking down the app, but rather I support exposing the app for what it is, like all anti-gay propoganda, it's hurtful.

I am just curious as to the absence of similar controversy/outrage over any of the many Che Guevara apps? You may or may not know him as the guy who actually killed gays and young rock and roll musicians.

Kudos to you, too many people believe concept of free speech is only for those who see things the same way they do

While I agree with you I think it's a slippery slope that you have to watch. I agree that in theory your point is valid but what about if a group like Neo Nazis or white supremacists were to create an app with their teachings? This would still be considered freedom of speech too, what's good for one is good for all. So while I agree with your point I just think that it is definitely a very careful line that you have to walk.

It definitely is. I think Apple has to face that there may be some apps that try to push through that probably should not be approved. I think if it condones the potential to hurt others physically, it should be rejected. Or if it encourages negative treatment or discrimination. It's definitely a fine line though.

I don't agree with that. If you have one, you have to have all. Freedom cannot be awarded to only the people you agree with. In a free society, you HAVE to have opposing opinion. I may not agree with what you do, but you have a right to do it. And, it is not my place to ban your view beacuse I don't agree with it. One of the big things with the LGBT is the freedom to be who they are. If that is allowed, then you have to also allow "the other side" to be who they are.

In a public forum, yes. But the Apple App store is a privately run organization. Sure, they have FCC Governing them, but ultimately if they say "yep, this app is fine even though it is against homosexuals" and then say "Nope, this one isn't because it supports Nazis" that is their right. Given that they are in the public eye, they have to be careful for business, but they don't have to do jack when it comes to approving apps. They could deny all apps associated with peanut recipes for no reason if they wanted.

See the thing there is, take the supreme court for example, as soon as they let one case through that is controversial and they allow it based on the circumstances of the case and those involved; Any case with a similar controversy pretty much has the green light, no matter the circumstance or case. I don't think it can just be black and white, either all or none. We're a grey world.

Good article. I just don't see why one group should get so bent over another like that. Sometimes groups can be hypocritical.. glad you are not.

the language in the picture doesn't seem bad. Maybe i'm misinterpreting it but it doesn't seem "anti-gay."
Regardless, i'm of the opinion that if Apple thinks any app espousing antisemitic, anti-gay, racist, etc attitudes poorly reflect on Apple as a company or don't reflect Apple's world view then they should get rid of the apps. I totally get your view. That said, apple isn't the government, they are private company. They can censor their store with impunity. Free speech is a freedom from the State limiting speech. Not private companies. It's not even an issue here. And if i ran apple there wouldn't be any thing like a white supremacist app or kkk app or racist tea party app, Nazi party app. i'm a black man. And they can say what they want. But if i ran Apple it would be a cold day in hell before they used my platform to further their insidious ideas. Sorry they don't have a free speech right from a private company.
all that being said, i've yet to see anything in this article that would make me want the app it gone. without more i can't say it should be removed.

I'm sure you would not have anything from the KKK on there, but I'd bet you'd love to slap up some NACCP garbage.
There are plenty of apps in the app store that serve no true purpose and many that I find very tasteless and yes, it is sad that people care for that garbage. But remember, YOU are the one that has to download it. It is not sent to your phone. If I want garbage on my phone, I download it. If I don't, I ignore it.
Can you not do the same without playing out your worn-out race card? Your 'brotha' is in the house now. Be happy with that. No one is out to get you - not even the KKK. All whites want to see the blacks succeed. The world would be a much better place.

I agree with Allyson, it should stay. If you don't like don't download it, they have the right to put out their app for those who want it.

R U Kidding?
they wouldn't approve an app for curing being african american, asian american or blindness, or christianity....
I say that as a black woman. The app needs to go.

You can't change the color of your skin. But there are people that believe being attracted to the same sex is wrong. This group doesn't condone negative treatment of gays (or at least their app doesn't).
I do think the app may be taken in a way that Apple condones this practice. That is something apple will have to evaluate. I am sure apple realizes by now that with the app store being the huge success it is, they'll have to face dilemmas like this.

Note, that Apple did remove a similar app a while back, because they believed it to be too politically motivated (from my understanding). While I'm not sure I agree it crossed the line, it is clear to me that Apple is trying to walk that difficult line here.

While I said it's a thin line I agree with Ally it should not be removed. She is right the information is there but they are not presenting it an offensive or hateful way. So like many others have said if someone wants to download it that is their choice and right.

There is no "Free Speech" issue.
The 1st Amendment prevents the government from stopping certain speech. And there are limits. The government can stop you speaking to incite violence. But the line starts "Congress shall make no law..." That sets the scope of who it applies to. It's a limit on Congress (the state). It does not limit Apple.
A private company that doesn't represent the government can censor people's speech. That's why sports leagues can fine players for criticizing referees or CNN can fire an anchor for saying something stupid, like Lou Dobbs or Rick Sanchez.
This is not about free speech. It's may be about censorship. But Apple has every right to censor as they seem fit. And consumers have the right to buy or not buy that companies products. Again i don't know if this rises to the level of being so offensive that apple should censor it but it is well within their right.

Agreed. Though, note that Apple is a public company... not that that changes anything. Apple could certainly decide to reject any app for any reason. However, I think it might be smart for them to walk this fine line and try to make their policies fair.

As you said being a public company doesn't change anything. A publically traded company does not make them not a private actor under the first amendment. But i think apple has to protect it's brand. And if is associated with anti gay attitudes, anti semitism, racism, etc they will have issues. Not to mention Steve Jobs is a pretty flaming liberal. It is a fine line. I think they have to walk it. I mean hell i don't even know that i'd ban all all statements from churches or what not about their not liking gay people. it would be a case by case basis. But at some point i'd draw a line.

As a public company, they do have to be a bit more careful of their moves, as they are ultimately held accountable by the stockholders. Also while Steve may or may not be a 'flaming liberal,' he also has to keep in mind that a majority of his customers and stock-holders probably aren't.

maybe but i don't think they care as long as they keep beating estimates quarter after quarter, year after year. Wall street is about money much more then religion. And apple is the darling. And i think many apple users are flaming liberal. obviously not all. but considering the younger demographic skews largely liberal and heavily in favour of gay rights i'd think upsetting them would be bad. I can't see it as a positive from a business standpoint to piss off users, make them not buy the products, thus decreasing earnings and devaluing the stock and pissing off investors anyways. The flip side is satisfy many users, they still buy the products, a portion of investors disagree with the companies politics and are happy with the stock. I think the latter is a better business move.

@ 9thWonder -
The majority of Apple users aren't 'flaming liberals'. The best policy is to tow a fairly even line and let the fringe groups take pot-shots.

"help dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction"
What I want to know is why this can't be dealt with in the same way as unwanted opposite-sex attraction. What ever happened to "thanks, but no thanks"?
Frankly, to paint a scenario here, if Joe is the recipient of "unwanted attraction" by a Steve and a Jennifer, and is freaked out by Steve but not by Jennifer, that's Joe's problem.
Why does there need to be an app for this? Are good little Christian Americans being put upon by hyper-aggressive homosexuals? Somehow I doubt it.

Actually I disagree and feel the app should be pulled. I have two reasons for this. First The medial profession classifies the methods used by exodus international as abuse. It doesn't much matter what I feel about conversion therapy. Medical professionals that are much more educated than I agree that it is abuse. Just based on that Apple should pull the app.
My second reason actually has to do with the type of abuse people are forced to suffer under groups such as exodus and evergreen. People that have went through conversion therapy have been physically abused and maimed. While the application might not state to abuse people it pushes out the message of the people who do the abuse.
Being both atheist and gay. I am not a person who regularly call for such extreme actions. I would never request a church app be pulled from the app store just because of my beliefs. In this case I have to make the exception. The work that these people do cause physical harm to people who are simply seeking help during a difficult time.

I don't know much about the group myself. You seem to know more. If they do in fact condone violence ...even through voluntary treatment, pull it.
As their app stands now, I don't see a reason but if that stuff does go on, then i can see how it isn't good to spread that message.

I can provide links if you like. I didn't want to flood the comments with links. I am willing to provide information both public or privately.

Sorry, but frankly, the 'medical professionals' are psychologists who earlier had classified GLBT behavior as deviant and a medical condition to be cured. They simply don't know what they are talking about, and made this change before the science data even starting weighing in on the topic.

Amen. We g.a.y's were considered sick and mentally deficient into the 1970's, although the medical doctors (psychiatrists) declassified sexual orientation as a curable condition requiring treatment before the non-medical group (the psychologists.)

I would like to see these comments, filtered to those who have actually downloaded and viewed the app.
I couldn't give a natts chuff about the other noise.

Definitely agree with our article writer; tolerance, live and let live, none of that seems to be violated by the ap. There are dozens of apps that cater to those in the LGBT community, none for any in that community who want help with the difficult task of following traditional Christian morality, and believe me, it is easy for no one.

Should Apple be "forced" to remove it? No matter how strongly I disagree with this app, no. However, Allyson, you miss the point here:
"There may be some controversy over some of Exodus’ practices but that really is no concern of Apple’s."
Once Apple decided to assume editorial control over content submitted to the App Store, they made it their concern. Apple has rejected apps for showing bikinis, for making fun of political figures, and for in general having "objectionable content." The simple fact that Apple has an open ended content clause, but allows a "Gay Cure" app in the store by definition means that they endorse the content enough to distribute it. At the bare minimum, Apple finds a "Gay Cure" less objectionable than a bikini. Apple has endorsed Exodus' content -- there is no middle ground here.
As for "living in a society where we do not have a voice" -- no, again. Apple is a private company, albeit an incredibly influential one. Did the removal of iWobble mean we live in a society where people have no voice? How about the (eventually overturned) removal of Mark Fiore's political cartoons? If yes, how has your expression been damaged since then? If no, why not -- what makes Apple's actions in those cases any different?
In my opinion, Apple should not be outright rejecting ANY apps purely based on content, but, if they are going to appropriate that responsibility, they need to accept the criticism and consequences of that decision. In this case, they acted as bigots, and should be painted with a like brush.

Umm.. yes there is middle ground. You can allow something (tolerance) without endorsing it. Most people are able to do this many times every day.

You miss the point -- for a storekeeper, the endorsement is all in the action. If you hold absolute authority over entry into the store, and have established a pattern of rejections based on your own personal sense of taste and morality, you can either:
1) Deny entry
2) Allow entry
Whether Apple is rah-rah cheerleading Exodus anti-gay message or just tolerating it, the result is the same -- entry into the App Store. That entry is the only endorsement that matters.
Again, I don't think that Apple should ban anything based purely on content. But if they maintain themselves as the moral guardians of all content in the App Store, protecting the public from bad things -- and they have -- allowing entry is endorsing the content as meeting Apple's standards. By definition.

I don't think they are being moral guardians. They are simply trying to keep out content that has damaging implications. They also seem to be censoring some materials that they believe will be offensive to the majority of their customers. If they catered to the tastes of every fringe-group, there would be NO apps in their store, yet allowing anything and everything in is bad for their image and their customer's experience.

So then buy your standards they should pull this app. But what about many other apps like the violent games. New studies suggest that they may be causing harm. Also Apple allows apps that promote the LBGT life style. Should they not be pulled, some are very suggestive. Apple has two real choices; 1. Attempt to walk a fine line and be sensitive to all groups. 2. Pull all apps that may be controversial to any group and leave the App Store full of games, productivity, and fart apps. Nothing of any real cerebral substance that may cause one to think or help them in their search. I know that I vote for #1.

No, by my standards they should not pull any apps on content concerns at all. You ignore this option #3, which makes the most sense of all. Exodus should get in, iWobble should get in, and Fiore should get in, in restricted sections if necessary. But I don't want Apple making banning level content judgements at all.
However, Apple does want to make those decisions, and weild the ban stick on content calls. Since they take that on, it is entirely appropriate to call them out when their judgement (IMHO) is lacking.

As a gay man, I can't say I personally find this app offensive but I certainly see how it can be offensive. If someone put out an app that said "Exodus International is the worlds largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by being black" I think we'd be singing a different tune.
You might say "how does race equate to sexual orientation?" Sexual orientation is not a choice, it's the way you are, the same as you are born black, white, asian or whatever, you're born gay. So for a group to say, "we wanna help you with your being black" is completely offensive to some as is "we wanna help you with your being gay."
Now, you can download the app or not download the app the same as you can visit their website or not visit their website, the choice is yours. I think the concept of "praying the gay away" is insanity to begin with and is however the Church's right BUT Apple can choose to support Freedom of speech or they can say, "this could be too controversial for our app store" the same way porn and other adult material is censored in the app store.
Do I think Apple should remove the app? I'm honestly on the fence about it. Do I agree with the app? Absolutely not. I'm torn... but make no mistake, these ARE NOT nice people and they do not have the best interest in mind for homosexuals. Forcing someone to suppress their homosexuality is emotionally damaging and NEVER works out in the end.

I don't this is a matter of freedom of speech, but a matter of what we expect to find at the App Store. Apple chooses carefully what is in the store, and that content reflects the views at Apple, so much that there are no porn apps.
Would it be ok to see a Ku Klux Klan app? They certainly have the right to their opinion, but based on the walled garden concept, would Apple accept it? I think not, and so I think this app should not be in the App Store as well.

Go meet some Episcopalians. You'll see Christianity isn't entirely represented by the evangelicals.

A very sane article, Allyson. I think the key element here is that, from what I can see, there is nothing abusive or coercive.
Speaking as a Christian who holds 'views', I'm sympathetic to members of the LBGT who feel hostility from the Christian community - or who have direct experience of it. I think hostility along those lines is distinctly against Jesus' teachings anyway. Yet I'm also frustrated when Christian views on the issues are oversimplified or lumped together.
Personally, I believe that God intended sexual activity to be within the marriage relationship, and that means between one man and one woman. So in my world view, I don't care who you are attracted to, and I try not to place a value on people based on their orientation, or in fact their behaviour. We are all in the same boat as having fallen short.
In fact, I don't think that Christians should say a word about this topic to those who don't want to follow Jesus, but should talk about why following Jesus is the best thing. Jesus didn't talk to people or value them based on their sexuality - the people he saved his harsh words for where the religious leaders playing holier-than-thou. Why should we who claim to follow him be any different?
But this is not the same as saying that these things don't matter, and the conversation becomes a different one if someone is following Jesus. In those circumstances it's biblical to encourage celibacy (irrespective of orientation) outside marriage.
Where I think the real difficulty comes is over well-intentioned interventions to 'fix' someone's orientation. That provokes quite understandable hostility, and what is seen as loving intervention by one can be seen as abusive by another. I don't know enough to know what I think about that, but I'm not comfortable.
So I guess in conclusion I think it is very hard to differentiate between what is overtly hostile, potentially (and inadvertently) damaging and what is more nuanced. Yet the more the dialogue becomes about extremes the more likely it is to make things worse. So thanks again for a nuanced and reasonable approach to this difficult issue. And apologies on behalf of the Christian community for any hurt inflicted now or in the past.
Hey, others claim they are speaking on my behalf when they are talking up some hate, so maybe I can speak on theirs and apologise...

You should stay on message with this blog. you alienate readers by saying awful things like this.

Freedom of speech doesn't have to be allowed on private property. Apple is hosting their app space and they can choose to reject or allow. This is an image thing more than anything. Apple can choose what image they wish to portray by publicly approving or rejecting apps. If Apple were a not-for-profit entity and they had open forums, then there may be something to this, but this isn't the case. Apple doesn't HAVE TO allow anything. Leave your rights at the door of their EULA/TOS or w/e they have.

I think the issue is what Exodus International stands for. Their app might be benign. But it is what they promote that is hateful. And they lure people into second guessing themselves and who they truely are. The say it is wrong to be who I am. It is a sin against god. That I should try and be "normal". I should b str8.
Based on that standing alone, Apple should pull the app. They are a hate group. Plain and simple. They promote the idea that you are not normal in the eyes of god if you are g.a.y.
If that ain't hate, I don't know what is.

First time poster, here. I am also openly gay and feel this app should stay in the app store. There is nothing wrong with it at all. A free society has many voices and Exodus is just one. Additionally, as I understand it, Exodus does not argue that homosexuals be physically assaulted or harassed. So there truly is no harm.
There is ONE argument to be made about why the app should be pulled and that is the fact that Apple does NOT run a "free-market" app store. It runs an app-store, which it polices. They seem to arbitrarily allow some apps and block others. This is a general issue with the app store rather than specific to Exodus. However, if one believes that Exodus is indeed providing offensive information (which I do not), perhaps it's worth pulling. But then there would be a clamor about what is and is not offensive.

Firstly , I'd like to say that the author , allyson , stating her orientation in this post is good information. Many people are not brave enough to admit their orientation to the public. However, most people may assume that someone of a homosexual orientation may be against this app and isn't, ie the author. That should allow people to learn a little bit more in this post than they think they might have.
Secondly, if the application isn't concentrated on hate against gays then I don't see the problem. Opinions may be seen as hate if it's delivered in a hateful way. I didn't download the application but I did visit the site and read the ' FAQs ' and the first one was about the success rate of transforming gays to straight, ( I lol'd so I decided to read it lol ).
Even though I didn't take the subject seriously, I read it objectively. The information they provide is not hateful at all. They used the bible to site information to support their ' answer ' to the frequently asked question. I wasn't offended by it, It was whether or not I believed it or not, not.
I was raised a Christian but as I grow older, I also grow to look at things objectively before making my decision on a particular subject. I begin to disconnect from the church when I realized that the disapproval of homosexuality among christians was enough for me to take my own path. Although I've also grown to not generalize.
However , back on tangent, if people don't want to hear this information then they shouldn't download the app. Same way if you don't like to go to church , don't go. Don't read / watch TMZ , don't watch NBC ! I'm not offended but the topic of homosexuality is very sensitive ( like race once was or still is ) so I can't speak for every one. The bottom line is that the application or the website doesn't appear to be hateful so I don't think it's harmful to the general public.

Well said, Allyson. It's encouraging to hear someone within the LGBT community who isn't afraid to express this sort of opinion. Exodus makes their info available, and no one is forced to download the app. Let the consumers speak with their download counts and reviews here. If you disagree with it, feel free to speak your mind by not supporting them and/or consuming the info, but let's leave it out there for those who seek it. Whether or not you agree with their message or methods, it's pretty hard to find fault with the app in terms of what is actually said. I'd encourage folks to review it with a critical eye and actually try to find something threatening or hateful. I bet you won't.

Interesting read. I do not support the application but I do not oppose it being offered either. It is healthy to have potentially opposing, even if not politically correct, views shared. As long as what is offered is not outright hatred then it should be allowed.

Allyson, thank you for your extremely fair article. While there are those who may not agree with you and your life style and there are those who will, it speaks mountain about your character to say that this app should remain. You truly understand that all views need to have a voice. Apple is walking a very difficult path here, trying to please many groups that have vastly different opinions and make all happy. You are sounding a clear voice of reason and integrity to allow others to speak, even if they disagree with you. I applaud and thank you.

We're talking about an organization here in which the co-founder quit to live with his g.a.y partner (and subsequently apologized for his role in the organization). Then their chairman, John Paulk, was found in a gay bar in DC in 2000 (He claimed he didn't know it was a gay bar. Yeah... right). Google "ex-ex-g.a.y." It's just plain ignorant to think that one can change one's sexual orientation and I do believe that organizations like this (and therefore apps like this) promote homophobia.
Take this, for example: Racism is generally frowned upon because people can't change the color of their skin. Homophobia is still socially accepted (if you don't believe me, think about the last time you heard someone say "that's so g.a.y" or a state voted specifically to take rights away from LGBT people) because the whole nature/nurture debate still exists and people think that LGBT individuals can change. That's like someone "praying" to change his/her ethnicity, gender, eye color, etc. It's just not possible.
To anyone who thinks that one can change his/her sexual orientation, I ask you this: Can you change yours? If you pray enough, could you become sexually attracted to a different sex than the one to which you are currently attracted?
So no, I don't agree with Apple having this in the App store. Exodus International is a group which fosters homophobia and that is certainly against Apple's policy.
On a lighter note, check out the movie "But I'm a Cheerleader." A very funny take on the whole "ex-g.a.y" movement.

This isn't a freedom of speech issue, or even a censorship issue. Apple has already exercised editorial controls over the third-party content allowed in the App Store to block material that some people find objectionable. Clearly there is some threshold past which Apple finds an App to be too objectionable to publish, but below which it's OK. What is wrong if some (or most) LGBT people and their allies raise objections in order to push the volume level up to that threshold?
(BTW, not that this should matter, but I'm bi.)

Crazy how this convo turned from the openness of Apple's policies to a theological debate. Personally I don't know a more contentious debate, and it always ends in unnecessary insults.
As far as the app is concerned, it should stay. You guys should download it and explore the contens for yourself, it doesn't offer a "cure" to turn g.a.y persons straight at all.

100% agree with you Allyson.
People seem to forget that, along with having the right to choose our sexual orientation, we also have the right to choose our beliefs.

A hammer doesn't harm people, the act of using a hammer as a weapon does.
This app doesn't harm people, the act of using this app as a weapon does.
See where I am going with this. Yes this is an app/tool. But considering at 3 out of every 5 GLBT teens think about suicide before they hit 18 because they are bullied over their sexuality, I would say this app is an issue.
Apple should be ashamed.

Part of the problem is that apple "approved" the app whereas in an open market any app can be published. (look at the apps pulled from the android market for containing malware) I am gay and the problem that I see us that some people care too much about what others are doing. Why should someone who isn't gay tell me what I should and should not do or believe for that matter and why do they care so much? I don't care what they do. I consider myself a Christian and despite what certain organizations tell me they have no idea what relationship I have with God and no one can take that away from me.

Also lets not forget that anti gay marriage app and Apple's reasons for removing that: Apple said, "We removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people."
This apps needs to die asap.

I always see people delivering bible to Turkish citizens so that they can become Christian. In my case I got my first free pocket Bible when I was 14 (: Should they be punished? Definitely not. Yes It made me a non believer to any religion (cuz I thought it was the same motive with Qur'an in a different poetic so why people are arguing about it) is it a harm?
I think it's the same with this app. I don't know if being a gay is a choice or not because I can't feel like they do but I know that there must be people who think that information will be helpful to them. It's an information with full of boring texts for god sake even you'll be bored when reading it and won't find a hate speech after all :P
So No, Apple should not ban it.
Please be kind about my comment, I'm not a native speaker..

Very thorough, well written post Ally. I agree with every word of it. Freedom of speech is our most precious asset, and it applies to everyone.

While I agree with the principles of free speech, I think many on this post have made a mistake categorizing the App Store as a free-speech environment. The App Store is by no means a free-speech environment when Apple reserves the right to remove an app for offensive content. Offensive is a subjective term. Different people may find different content offensive.
Historically, religion has been used as a justifiable reason to remove rights, persecute, hate, and make outcasts numerous types of minorities. Certainly Apple would not allow content that would do so to other minorities. For whatever reason, it still seems acceptable to allow religion to justify such of the LGBT community and I think it is hypocritical if Apple allows such content but were to deny a similar app that speaks poorly of a different minority.

I am an older gay male (66), and while I disagree with their philosophy and tactics, I agree they have the same right to their beliefs as I do to mine. I am glad that Apple put up the app, and would be very displeased if they gave in to pressure to remove it. Like the Supreme Court ruling in the Matthew Snyder case. While the ruling is abhorrent, the First Amendment right is sacrosanct.

It would be one thing if Apple didn't already have a policy of removing offensive content. Then it would be perfectly legitimate to say that Exodus has freedom to put whatever they want in the app store. But that's not the case; if Apple removes some offensive content and not others, they'll look hypocritical.

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds Unbelievable." Brennan Manning.
iBlackdude, thanks for bringing that quote to life. You are right, Jesus Walks. He also loves. It wouldn't kill you to try and be like Christ.

Freedom of speech should let this app stay I suppose... however, perpetuating the myth that same sex attraction has a cure tacitly condones all that follows from that, which means it's perpetuating prejudice, and second class citizenship against gay folk. Apple can do what they like with their App Store and their phone. It's just a bad brand manoeuvre for them.

Thanks for this incredibly fair article. I am the president of Exodus and have been incredibly encouraged by people on the other side of this debate coming to our defense.

"I respect other people’s life choices and religious views, all I ask if they do the same in return."
Persecuting others based on life choices and religious views isn't something worthy of respect - it's a crime.
Also, "life choices"? Really? As a self-proclaimed homosexual man, you're using that term? I know quite a few LGBT folks who'd be incensed by that. Were I not on a gadget site, I'd swear I was reading poorly veiled evangelical propaganda.

Oops, failed to notice this post was written by a woman. I apologise for the gender confusion, but everything else I said still stands.

Allyson,
Thank you for this fair and respectful article. This is the type of tolerance and diversity I wish we could see within all of the GLBT community. You're a credit to fair and balanced journalism.
Jeff Buchanan
Sr. Director of Church Equipping & Student Ministries
Exodus International

Apple has a responsibility to remove hate speech from their App Store. Apple is also a business (not a government agency) and has the right to censor whatever content they deem appropriate. Exodus International tries to convert LGBT people into heterosexuals, as if they are diseased or have a psychological disorder. Apple on the other hand supports the LGBT community and embraces diversity in their workforce. This app is in violation of Apple's core beliefs and should be removed.

Uh....Why should Apple remove the app? I'm not picking either side in this case, but making the point that you can CHOOSE to either download the app or not. I thought that was the reason behind an app store where you can pick and choose what you want and don't want. If the content doesn't interest you, don't download it. No different than the world wide web. There are websites that i don't care for so i don't visist them, very simple.
As far as the "g.a.y. & God" dilema, i view it this way: It is not for me (or any other human to walk this earth) to say whether it is possible (or acceptable by God). What you do in your life is between you and God so as long as you respect my personal beliefs then i will respect yours.

Wow, should Apple be forced to remove the app? That's absurd! Are we in nazi Germany or communist China? Just because a person or church in this case doesn't agree with the gay lifestyle isn't grounds for removal of the app! IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT , DON'T DOWNLOAD IT OR READ IT!! I have just as much right to disagree with the gay lifestyle as a person does to choose to be gay. If everything that is not politically correct is forced to be taken down, than you can kiss the free America good bye because that is a quick and slippery slope!

Why didn't you just say GAY in the first place? What's up with all the "***"! Geez are you THAT homophobic!

On that note, it's a real shame that there's no app yet for all those young neo-Nazis out there who would just like to learn more about the trials and tribulations of Adolf Hitler and why Jews are the scourge of the Earth and should all be eliminated. After all, it's all about "tolerance" and "diversity" - even when the people who claim it for themselves are all about not tolerating any kind of diversity that conflicts with their maliciously narrow ideology.

FD, I really hope your not comparing my opinion or anyone else that does not agree with homo.sexually with neo nazis, because that would be extremely naive!

I'm not in the habit of comparing anything to Nazism, neo or otherwise. What I am saying, however, is that by the exact same reasoning hypocrites like you now scream for free speech for their own hateful, bigotted, and utterly misinformed "opinion", any neo-Nazi could demand the same courtesy for his. The truth is that everyone draws a line at which free speech ends. The hypocrisy is that no one wants to see their own "opinion" as crossing that line. In truth, there is no rational reasoning why one should grant free speech to religious zealots who demonize an entire group of people based solely on whom they love and desire and deny them basic civil rights unless they agree to "cure" (i.e. lie about) their true feelings, but not to racist zealots who devalue people based on their ethnic origins and/or the color of their skin. There is never any virtue in tolerating intolerance.

I was brought up in what I would consider a Christian environment, and though I'm not really a religious person these days, I do feel that I have a strong set of core values. I'm a free thinker and love discussing philosophy. I'm generally open-minded. I typically live life in a "do unto others" kind of way, and I'm generally accepting of other peoples values and beliefs, as long as they do not directly offend or conflict with my own and are not forced upon me.
This all being said, back in the mid-90's I was in a major US city alone on business and happened to unknowingly stumble upon a large ga y pride parade. I had no idea that it was planned. I was just there trying to find a place to get some food. But the things I saw there.... it was almost like a por no movie right on the streets. There were men in a$$less riding chaps, spandex, and bondage clothing. IN PUBLIC. Look, I'm generally a sexually adventurous person, but I'd never touch a guy with a 10 foot pole and I keep those kinds of adventures 100% private! I was honestly shocked and offended that this extremely large group of ga y people chose to put what is basically their sexuality right out there for all to see. And yes, I did see exposed male genitalia. I'm still shocked that the police didn't crack down on people for blatant public indecency.
Secondly, I was personally touched and groped by several men who were participating on the sidewalks, who likely mistook me as an active or willing participant in the festivities, however I took direct offense to this and told them "I don't swing that way", and when I said that, I was immediately ridiculed, pushed around, and I was in great fear for my life. In fear of getting my butt kicked or killed, I turned and ran and got the heck out of there.
Now I do realized that there are probably ga y people out there who genuinely do love each other outside of the sexual connotations that being ga y brings, but that experience has solidified my personal belief that that kind of lifestyle is completely wrong, especially in the context that I was exposed to it. And lets not even being to discuss the biological reasons. If there are ga y people who live their lives in a non-offensive way, then I'm generally okay with that.
But as I said in the beginning, for me it's a "do unto others" thing. I respect a person regardless of their skin color, religion, etc, even when I disagree with them. And in my case, there are often times things I have disagreements with. But as long as those things are not constantly on the surface, then I generally don't have any problems with it. But because of my experience, I now think of it like showing a 10 year old an X-rated movie. I think most people would have a big problem with that, regardless of their race, religion, or sexuality. I would also think the same thing if I had walked into a parade of heterosexuals who displayed their sexualities so publicly. Or if I walked upon a NAMBLA pedophile pride parade (if there are such things). There are certain things that are socially acceptable to do in public, and certain things that are not. And that parade was in no way acceptable to me.
Now I'm not going to run out an join any anti-ga y movements. I'm not going to go an kill anyone for being ga y. And I'm also not going to force my personal beliefs on anyone either. But I also don't need to know what your sexual preference is and I honestly don't care. There is no need to come out and tell people you're openly gay for the same reasons I never say to anyone "Hi, I'm openly heterosexual!" If you think there IS a need to talk about sex, then please, I've love to know the justification for it. To me, I can look at you, know that you are a man or a woman, and that's enough for me. Case closed. No need to discuss it further. I can also tell that when you're with your partner, there is also no need to discuss things further. I know it by seeing it. And again, as long as you're acting like a normal human being, there's no reason to get offended by anything either. I can definitely not say the same for the people who participated in that parade.

Darkstar, so much for being open minded, I can say all the same thing you say about gay people about straight people. We get attacked, beat and killed, does that mean that straight people are wrong? No. As for showing your sexuality, being hetero there is no need to say it, or express it, it's assumed by the world. We have to live behind closed doors, afraid of being killed, afraid of losing our jobs because we are not protected unless the company has specific guidelines to protect us. We live in our own country as secondary citizens because we do not have the same rights as heteros. So is this all fair Darkstar?
Look the app should live and gay people need to let it live, people have the right to express themselves, and we as gays (cause I am gay) can not become as oppressive as we have have been treated.

I agree with Darkstar, sexuality should be a private matter. You can hump whomever you want, just don't need to tell me about it.
That being said, there is no reason to pull this app.

How am I not open minded? Because I don't agree with you? I guess if I agreed with a pedophile, would I still be considered open minded? Or a sicko? Please explain to me where we draw the line?
Please also tell me how you don't have the same rights as I do??? If you're American, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights gives you the exact same rights as I do. The only thing that differentiates us would be your sexual preference and mine. So, I guess the only thing you can't do is get married, but that's all I can think of. Please educate me if there are other things.
You want to be treated like everyone else, but then you say you want different treatment because of your sexual preference. Your sexual preference is something I don't need to know about, so you don't need to tell me. If I'm wrong, then please tell me why I would need to know.
Allyson created this post to discuss an App in the AppStore, and she could also have done it without saying "I'm openly gay". Nothing in the entire article would have changed and it could have been written without her telling us that. When I read it, my first thought was "So what?". But now that I "know", that doesn't mean I disrespect Allyson or that I would treat her any differently, but again my original point was that in the context of this article, I didn't NEED to know. That is why I'm asking why it is always necessary for ga y people to announce themselves? Furthermore, how would ga y people react if heterosexuals always began their posts or articles by stating first that they are openly Hetero? Maybe now you can begin to see where I'm coming from?
I used to work with a guy some years ago who was ga y. I had no idea, and also I didn't need to know. He never mentioned a word about being ga y. One day when we were out at lunch with some other co-workers, someone commented on a "hot" girl we saw at the restaurant, and though I can't remember exactly what he said, it was something along the lines of "You guys know I don't go for women" or something to that effect. At that moment, I knew, and that's all I needed to know, and it never effected our work afterward either. He had said all that needed to be said without being flamboyant or offensive. He had is own lifestyle and it didn't impact me in the slightest, in the same way that the relationship I had with my girlfriend didn't impact him. So again, I say "SO WHAT???".
But, when it's announced ahead of time, regardless of the context, then things just turn weird and uncomfortable.
Again, I can't really think of any situation where I'd truly need to know someone's sexual preference. So I often wonder why people go out of their way to announce it.

The need for people to come out is pretty simple. 
It cannot be compared to saying "Hi, Im heterosexual" because a.) heterosexual does not define someone the way homosexual does. b.) heterosexuals are not discriminated against solely based on being that. c.) You don't have to live your life in a shadow of being heterosexual so you probably don't care about associating your personal achievements with the term to to try and lift barriers or change someone's thought process.  
Coming out and saying "I am homosexual"  has nothing to do with the sexual connotations associated with being homosexual. The importance of coming out is to associate real faces, lives and values with "being homosexual" to fight the prejudice of the stigmas currently associated. 
If everyone were to come out it would mean that society would not be able to ignore the fact that homosexuals are not just some crazy people that live in a neighborhood in San Francisco, march in gay pride parades or just a few people you see here or there on TV.  They would become sons, daughters, grand-children, neighbors, friends, role models - from the smallest towns to the biggest cities - people that have significant value in other people's lives and probably your own that are currently under the radar and in turn are not contributing to the true faces of homosexuality and how they relate to everyone leaving pre-conceived prejudice in tact.

App has been pulled. Hopefully Apple provided a reason to the developer and they will share it with us.

I find it simultaneously depressing and amusing is how frightened straight people are of 'unwanted same-sex attraction.' "OH NO! A g*y person is attracted to me! Heavens! What ever shall I do??"
Do the same thing you'd do if a person of the opposite sex were making unwanted advances. Tell them, "Hey, not interested," or ignore them. Is that so hard to figure out?
I've noticed--it's hard not to, actually--that the unstated fear of many straight men (especially very religious straight men--not generalizing, just observing--) seems to be that g*ys are somehow just waiting to jump out of some shadowy corner and rape the living daylights out of them. Grow up, dudes.

It's pure projection. That fear of unwanted same-sex attraction is often voiced by the same straight men who are the very reason mace was invented.

This app is stupid.
The fact that people take the bible seriously is hilarious. In the bible, God is responsible for the deaths of 2,093,340 people - Satan is responsible for the deaths of 10.

What Bible do you read? When I don't have a clue about something I simply keep quiet instead of looking stupid in front of everyone.

Highly respect your opinion there.
It frustrates me from being on the opposite side to yourself when I see requests like this to pull an app, or to change a regulation etc. I see it not as the views of another being disrespected, but that the request goes against mine. I'm happy for both to exist equally.
Thanks for posting, appreciate the work you do here.

Yeah that is a classic example of someone who only understands random, negative without a context sentences in the Bible,..

As a Christian who tries to hold to the principles of loving God and loving your neighbor, the ones that Jesus himself stated were the main tenants of the Christian faith, in dealing with others, I very much appreciate your viewpoint on this subject. As a Libertarian, I also like the way you approach this subject from a political standpoint.
The only way to preserve the freedoms of religion and free speech that we all currently enjoy is to always extend those same freedoms to everyone else, even those who may have very different point of view. Attempting to suppress the views of others just weakens those freedoms for ourselves. Once one group loses their ability to speak or express their views, no matter how offensive you may find them to be, it will only be a matter of time before public opinion targets others and similarly suppresses them. Pretty soon, the state gets into the business of mandating which beliefs and philosophies are ok to talk about, which is a VERY slippery and dangerous slope. Eventually, even the groups that started advocating suppression of others my find themselves being suppressed.
I know this idea flies in the face of our current flame war society, but it is the very idea that the United States was founded on. I hope that more people can take this type of civil approach, rather than trying enforce opinion as law under the guise of stomping out the intolerance, immorality, evil, etc. of other side.

Ah yes, eisegesis - the cry of the fundamentalist who has either never read his own holy book, or has but cannot explain why the above verses do not apply, but the verse about a man lying with another man must be followed as a strict Truth to be imposed upon others.
So go ahead, educate me. Don't link to other apologetics; if it is so simple that you can dismiss it with a word or a sneering comment about Sunday school, you should have your own thoughts o the matter.
Explain it yourself.

(possible double post, sorry)
Ah yes, eisegesis - the cry of the fundamentalist who either has not read their holy book or who cannot be bothered to think about the contradictions. The above verses are all there in the Bible - if you want to explain why they do not apply, but that the verse about a man laying with another man in the same book must be followed as an inerrant truth, I am all ears.
The Bible says many things are abominations, and many actions deserve the same or worse punishment that laying with another man. I suppose my 8 years of Biblical study has not prepared me to understand why believers can ignore some verses and demand everybody follow others. So go ahead, educate me.

Allyson;
Thank you!
I wish you well, and hope you can continue to forgive those who hurt you, may you find peace.
David

I am generally like-minded in your views of free speech, but I honestly don’t see this the same way. Apple is already a closed, highly regulated environment. No one should be surprised that they police their properties heavily — that’s just the way it is. Therefore, this is a matter of holding Apple to their own rules. If they want to open the doors and modify their practices, drastically changing their own game, have at it. I would then say it’s all fair.
As it is, however, Apple plays by a very strict set of their own rules, under which the entire philosophy behind Exodus is unwelcome. People using their apps know the score, and seeing this representation of an organization that insists gays and lesbians are not only essentially evil in their lives, but flawed and curable, is a massive contradiction. (See http://goo.gl/vFMAv)
The app is fundamentally evangelistic in nature — a recruiting tool. They want people to load this thing up and then share it as a way to lend credibility leeched from Apple to their own cause. Otherwise, as has been noted, interested parties could easily use their phone to browse to the Exodus website to get their information.
No one would seriously, for instance, complain to Exodus’ web host that they shouldn’t be hosting their site. The web is open and having a site like that doesn’t mean anything more than anyone else’s. Apple is different, and has made it clear since the beginning that they will remain so. Under those rules, Exodus app really should not be there, and Apple should not be expected to offer it through their properties.
If anyone would like a more candid look at Exodus, follow the link in my name, and search our 9 years of data.

I don't think it had a place in the store. The language is just a bit odd. There can no more be a cure for being the 'g word that loves to get itself censored round here' than there is a cure for being born black, or with no arms and legs. While it might not be offensively worded, the concept at its heart is very 'unsound'. At best its just misinformation, at worst a handy reference for folks who will you use offensive language and worse in pursuit of a 'cure'.
Now, if we can all get signing petitions calling for the removal of fart, 'game x' Cheats, and 'Locate any phone anywhere' apps from the store that'll be even better.

I have to look over the app before I make any claims on whether it is fair or not. My initial concern / thought is whether it crosses prejudicial boundaries and is being over-looked because prejudice against homosexuals is far too accepted in this country. So, I am going to look at the app myself, but pose this thought to other readers to keep in mind when considering the fairness of the app as I will. Take out gays/homosexuals from the context of the app and replace it with another demographic of people who have faced prejudice and ask yourself if that app would be acceptable for an organization or religious group to publish. For example, on the more extreme side, would it be an issue if there were an app helping black people deal with the color of their skin and in a convoluted / indirect manner preach that modeling the behavior of white culture will be the key to their success. I say the extreme side of the spectrum in this case only because it is because it is much easier for a person to hide the fact that they are gay than the color of their skin. So, perhaps, a more tightly coupled analogy would be for say people who are Jewish or Muslim. In my opinion, you religion and even the way a person maintains their cultural upbringing is way more of a choice or preference than homosexuality. So would an app targeting the Jewish or Muslim community to help overcome the unwanted prejudice against their 'unwanted' religion by guiding them towards Christianity be... kosher?
OK - I couldn't go further without seeing the app. So  I took a break and downloaded the app and it is pretty much what I expected. It's not evil and I don't believe there is any strategically malign intents.
The problem I see with the case at hand and the scenarios I mentioned previously is that, in a back-handed, sugar-coated, faith-based-cover-up way they are or would be lifting themselves into a light of superiority, offering their inferiors an alternative path to salvation contrived from their own rules.  Inferior because their sins and resulting shame are not admonished, but now their superiors are simply open to accepting these shameful people and will help these people and their families deal with the foul hand of cards they were dealt.  I felt like a quote taken directly from the video included in the app backs up my theory - you be the judge. 
"We in the body of Christ are the only people who have life, who understand life, who know the one  who gives life, who sustains us, who redeems us. So we have to reach out with grace and with truth." 
With that being said, and as foreign a feeling it is for me, this can be looked at as a step forward for a church. It is a step towards tolerance, openness then maybe true acceptance and possibly a true understanding and integration in the future. Programs such as this have undoubtedly helped many gay people in scenarios where they are struggling between the irrevocable core person they were brought into this world as and the diametrically opposing values that have externally shaped their reality. Values telling them they are inferior and essentially born with a birthmark of sinful desires that penetrate their core causing someone in this situation to be completely cut off from their peers and their family prior to the widespread availability of a faith based alternative. 
So a program like this may provide some people a better alternative than what they would have had. However, in no way, where it stands right now, does this contribute to any solution to the discrimination homosexuals face. It is sort of like giving clean needles to junkies. It helps and it's a good thing to do, but it doesn't solve the real problem. 
So, moral of the story. There's a segment of our population that has always been there, will always be there and as far as I know they can't reproduce themselves. Despite the fact that homosexuals are not protected under most equal opportunity laws, statistically, as a whole, the group falls above average in education levels, and measurements of financial success.  They are truly in every aspect of our society, whether you realize it or not - from celebrities to sports heroes, fireman, military, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and dare I say hair stylists and makeup artists.  I have never been able to understand where the fear we hold against them as a society comes from, what threat the are imposing on our nation that is so great we want to strip them of rights, cast them out in our churches and really just deny them the common courtesy and respect any  fellow citizen, let alone highly contributing citizens, should be entitled to in a country that prides itself on being  "The Land of the Free".  What are we trying to achieve here? No law passed or religious persecution is going to get rid of them, so is there some sense of pride achieved by holding them down and making them feel second-rate; or allowing them to be fired solely based on the stigma attached to them outside of their control; or by ensuring that their is no recognition, rights or protection for them if they do find a life partner or start a family. If it were up to me, I'd have legislation making it illegal to preach against homosexuality in religious establishments under the same principles used to federally ban polygamy - [Preaching against a group of people in any manner that could create unjust discrimination]  "in all its forms is a recipe for social structures that inhibit and ultimately undermine social freedom and democracy."
Bottom line - The words gay and homosexual have been stigmatized into derogatory meanings by people who don't have stake, aren't benefitted in any way by doing so and don't have to suffer the repercussions of the desecration.  Why can't we start today by clearing the negative associations with these words, accept homosexuals with open hearts and minds as an integral part of our society and let them define these words by living out their lives with-out shame and prejudice. 
Conclusion - Its not right, but its OK. Leave the app as it may help a select few who don't have other options. 

  1. I am so sick of political correctness... Say what you say, if it hurts my feelings... Boo hoo that's my problem... We can't even communicate the truths in our heads anymore because of politically correct censorship.
  2. Homosexuality is AB-normal. It is a fetish, and nothing more. Flaunt it to legitimize it, whatever... I will not buy into it. It is not a racial parallel... It is a fetish that has festered... Sorry. It's gross, it's unnatural, and IN MY OPINION... it's wrong....
  3. Flame away...

The App ABSOLUTELY had to be removed. Exodus International fundamentally believes and upholds the fallacy that homosexuality is a disease that needs to be cured! Both the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association are in agreement that spreading such beliefs are both WRONG and inherently DANGEROUS. Homosexuality is NOT a disorder that needs to be cured. Enough young LGBT youth have ended their lives pre-maturely because of this! Anything that would sway them to think negatively of who they are should not be allowed to flourish. This is not a question of free speech... But rather of a RESPONSIBLE expression of opinion! You just can't spread word out (false as it may) without thinking of the possible dire consequences of it!

Allyson, thank you for sharing such an objective perspective. It's very refreshing to hear someone who isn't afraid to say equality applies to all beliefs and backgrounds. People need to realize that the app store is a medium for content and nothing more. Just like the rest of the internet. We need more journalists like you.

My previous comment was deleted. I'm sure it was censored because I stated my opinion on people that are homosexual and I gave Ricky Martin as an example. I see that only people that disclose that they are homosexual get to speak freely here. A personal belief is not hatred towards others.

Sorry, something went wrong on my last post, due to restrictions on this web page, the words on the url were censored. Please , replace the *** with the censored word(G.A.Y)