Update: Apple have removed this application, but have not officially responded.
I am writing today to ask you to remove the Exodus International application from the iTunes store.
Apple has long been a friend of the LGBT community, opposing California’s Proposition 8, removing the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration iPhone app, and earning a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
That’s why I am shocked that this same company has given the green light to an app from a notoriously anti-gay organization like Exodus International that uses scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients, endorses the use of so-called “reparative therapy” to “change” the sexual orientation of their clients (despite the fact that this form of “therapy” has been roundly condemned by every major professional medical organization), and 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.
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. This is unacceptable, and I urge you to take a strong stance against homophobia by removing this dangerous “ex-gay” iPhone app from the store.