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Apple pulls 'gay cure' app following protests

Following an online petition signed by more than 150,000 people, Apple has dumped an iPhone app by a ministry that encourages gays to "cure" themselves of homosexuality.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read


Following an online petition and a wave of complaints, Apple has removed a so-called "gay cure" app from its App Store.

Launched last month by Exodus International, a ministry that encourages gay people to seek "cures" for their homosexuality, the app triggered a huge outcry from Two Wins Out, a nonprofit group with the stated goal of fighting anti-gay religious extremism.

Pointing out that any therapy or cures to change one's sexual orientation have been soundly rejected by all the major medical associations. TWO launched an online petition at Change.org calling on Apple to remove the app. Over the course of a couple of days, the petition received signatures from more than 150,000 people, while the app itself was strongly condemned by most reviews in the App Store.

Confirming the app's removal today, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told CNET that Apple pulled the app from the App Store because "it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people."

TWO and Change.org both praised Apple today for its decision to remove the app.

"Apple made a wise and responsible decision to dump an offensive app that demonized gay and lesbian people," Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said in a statement. "The real winners today are LGBT youth who are safer and less at risk for receiving Exodus' malice and misinformation."

Apple made the same decision late last year over an app from the Manhattan Declaration that gay rights groups dubbed anti-gay. Following a petition on Change.org condemning the app, Apple removed it from the App Store, citing the same reason of violating guidelines by offending large groups of people.

CNET contacted Exodus International several times seeking comment on Apple's decision but was unable to reach anyone. However, the company's president, Alan Chambers, registered his disapproval over the decision earlier on Twitter by calling it "incredibly disappointing" and telling people to watch out because it "could happen to you."