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Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has pulled an app about homosexuality and Christianity from its App Store after tens of thousands of people signed a peti…

Apple App Store categories tab
photo: Flickr / SolYoung

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has pulled an app about homosexuality and Christianity from its App Store after tens of thousands of people signed a petition against it. The move is a sign of how Apple is willing to wield its editorial axe in the App Store when enough people cry foul when one group attacks another.

Developed by a group called Exodus International — which describes itself as a “nonprofit, interdenominational ‘ex-gay’ Christian organization” promoting “freedom from homosexuality” on its Facebook page (which has not been taken down) — the eponymous app describes itself as a “useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders” and integrates media such as Twitter and Facebook feeds, podcasts and videos.

The app (a link to it here) was given a 4+ rating from Apple when it was first approved and posted to the App Store on March 8, but its critics slammed the app for its main message, which is based around homosexuality being wrong. Since going live, the app got dubbed the “Gay Cure” app by those who opposed it.

One of the groups against the app, Truth Wins Out, started up a petition on the Change.org site. It’s still running even with the app down, and has picked up more than 150,000 signatures. (It had more than 140,000 when the app got pulled.)

According to a report on FoxNews.com, Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told the site: “We removed the Exodus International app from the App Store because it violates the developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

While Apple has been amenable to approving and posting special-interest apps from different sides of the ideological spectrum, it appears to draw the line when special interests collide, even if it sometimes takes 140,000 people to bring its attention to that.

Apps like these, of course, can still be downloaded and used on a jailbroken iPhone.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG), it should be noted, can pull an app just as quickly as Apple when it has reason to — see the recent problems with the knock-off apps that contained malware.

This is not the first time that Apple has pulled an app from the App Store for offending another group. The “Manhattan Declaration” app, also released by a religious group with Right messages, was pulled in December after thousands of complaints.

  1. I, of course; disagree with the app and Exodus International (EI for short, for me anywyas) but I don’t agree with the app being pulled. To get the app you first had to know it existed, so you are already part of EI; then you had to search for it if it wasn’t trending heavily; then download and install it. And again, you would have to open it. People have free will for a reason so personally, using that argument; I feel the app should have stayed despite the message it put out to the people with it.

  2. So if you have an app that helps overweight people doesn’t that demonize overweight people. Wouldn’t that be offensive to overweight people. It is more of a proven theory, that people are born to be be genetically overweight then the theory that people are born to be gay. This is just another example of discrimination against Christians. At this rate I could find just about every app offensive. Honestly, I find anything that promotes homosexuality to be offensive to me and my family, I don’t try to shut it down but I don’t allow it in my home and I teach my kids its wrong, I HAVE THAT RIGHT! Either homosexuality is wrong or it is acceptable – that’s debatable. What ever side you are on you will be offended by the other. Oh, and this NOT like being born a certain race. Doctor King said it best a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. A homosexual act is about content of character.

  3. Why would they pull an app that has the potential to help so many people?

  4. While the app was indeed offensive to me and apparently to others, I’m wondering what the criteria are going to be for future Apple app pulls. For example, if Planned Parenthood has a family planning app and it is offensive to right-to-lifers, does this mean Apple will just cav to thm? It’s a can of worms that’s bigger than just this one app or issue.

  5. Lee. A homosexual act is about the content of your genes and random environmental factors. It is no more about character than athletic prowess. Must be great to live in a world where everything is viewed through a lens of moral clarity. Pity you’re completely divorced from reality…..but that’s your choice.

    Also, Apple’s reasoning is bollix. As usual. If 150,000 nazis objected to something would they pull it?

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