Apple pulls 'gay cure' app from iTunes

A group that advocates "curing" gays of same-sex attractions said that its iPhone application had been yanked from Apple's online iTunes shop.

"We are extremely disappointed to learn of Apple's decision to deny equal representation in the public square," Exodus International president Alan Chambers said in a release.

Exodus described itself as a global Christian ministry "helping those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to live a life congruent with biblical teaching."

Its free iPhone program linked users to Exodus information including videos, podcasts, a Twitter feed, and the group's page at social networking service Facebook.

Apple told the group's web developer that the application was removed from iTunes because it was deemed "offensive to large groups of people," according to Florida-based Exodus.

Apple was under pressure to yank the so-called "gay cure" application from its iTunes shop for software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices.

As of Wednesday, more than 150,000 people had electronically signed an online petition at a change.org website calling for Apple to dump the Exodus application.

"This app is a slap in the face to Apple's customer base and serves as a platform to spread misinformation and blatant anti-gay bigotry," said Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen.

"It is particularly troublesome because the app focuses on exploiting the fears of desperate and vulnerable gay and lesbian youth."

Truth Wins Out is an organization founded to debunk what it sees as a harmful myth that homosexuality is something that can be cured and produce "ex-gays."

Exodus advocates freeing oneself from homosexuality through religion and has publicly condemned the campaign to remove its application from iTunes as an assault on free speech and an improper spin on the application's purpose.

Apple did not return a request for comment.

- AFP

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