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Apple's App Store Accepts 'Gay Cure' App 794

parallel_prankster writes "Apple is under fire for approving a controversial app created by a religious organization — Exodus International. The app seeks to help gay individuals become heterosexual. It received a '4' rating from Apple, which indicates the company considered the app to contain 'no objectionable material.' The new smartphone app was released last week and is now available through iTunes. Exodus International claims to be 'the world's largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality.' A petition has been launched by Truth Wins Out, which describes itself as a non-profit organisation that fights anti-gay religious extremism on the website, asking Steve Jobs to intervene to remove the app."
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Apple's App Store Accepts 'Gay Cure' App

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  • Amazing. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19, 2011 @06:51PM (#35544988)
    Considering Apple is gay.
    • Re:Amazing. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:53PM (#35546168)

      Considering "Jane" used to be "John" [] . Sexier pic: []

      Someone erroneously posted below that homosexuality is a preference. Its not. I had a friend who was a male married to a female with 2 kids and he was homosexual. AFAIK they had no plans for divorce. I work with a m2f transgender, and I've known many male and female homosexuals and bisexuals. Honestly, I can't understand it fully, but I just look at it as gender being a bimodal distribution that has overlap between the modes. Personally, I think it takes balls to go m2f and in no way be fooling anybody.

      • Re:Amazing. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Sunday March 20, 2011 @01:57AM (#35548014) Journal

        Exactly, and if you have ever been around someone who was gay you would know its not a "choice" or else people wouldn't choose it to escape horseshit like this from bigots like in TFA. It would be like saying some would "choose" to be born Jewish in pre WWII Europe, or "choose" to be born black in 1920s America. What horseshit and I've seen with my own two eyes it is horseshit.

        My youngest nephew (whom with his brother I consider my sons, as my sister developed a terminal illness after the second and wasn't able to raise them so I stepped up) is gay and frankly it was obvious almost from the time he could walk. His mannerisms, his voice, hell everything about him screamed "gay!" and he and his brother (which is as straight as straight can be) were raised side by side with NO differences in rearing. Nobody in my family said anything because we believe who you choose to love is YOUR business and it is OUR job to give the child a loving home, NOT to beat any one way of living into them.

        Well sure enough at 14 he said he "had a big announcement" and called a family meeting where he said "I'm gay" and I nearly died laughing at the reaction,as everyone was like "aaaand?" Even my 94 year old grandmom was like "Son, that news isn't exactly shocking, heck I'm nearly blind and even I could see that!". I'll always remember the way my friend Dale, who is ex USAF and can bench press some serious weight, put it when some punk overheard me talking about the youngest (and apparently didn't know Dale's little sister is a lesbian and likewise they knew almost since birth) when the punk said "I'd beat that boy straight!" Dale said 'Really, so if me and my buddy here take you out back and beat the living shit out of you for a couple of hours we can just turn you gay? I bet after we knocked them teeth out you'd be a good little cocksucker".

        And that is why TFA is total horseshit, it would be like someone expecting they could change me to where I'd look at some hairy guy the way I look at my little Cherokee princess sleeping in the bed down the hall. It ain't gonna happen, not in a million years and for all the tea in China. I'm just glad I found a wonderful woman with a wonderful old country family that only care about how you treat people and not who you love, because after my sis passed away they really went above and beyond to make my boys feel like family.

        Of course I'll never forget what my princess said after I took them to meet the boys and told her afterward the youngest was gay to see what her reaction would be and whether we had a future (because if it came down to a girl or the boys the girl would have to go, I don't abandon family) and she said "Hon, my glasses aren't THAT thick, and it doesn't change the fact he is a sweetie and my daughter (who loves having someone who has taste and loves shopping like she does) just adores him, does it?"

        Instead of trying to make everyone fit into your myopic world view, why not just treat them like people? And if it is family then you should damned well treat them like family and love and stick up for them instead of being a horse's ass like the group from TFA. If your God is so petty and spiteful that they would condemn a decent person to some eternal suffering because of who they love and nothing else? Well that isn't a God I want anything to do with, just keep him to yourself, thanks.

        • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Sunday March 20, 2011 @05:12AM (#35548602)

          That's not how personal preferences are formed. You don't have a genetic program that determines who you will have sex with. If there were a gay gene, they'd have found it by now. Sex is a creative process, and the people taking part in it decide how it will happen. Saying you don't choose to be gay is like saying you don't choose to be an engineer. I happen to be an engineer, but I don't believe that I had to be one, or that I could not put down my computer and pick a paintbrush or a hammer tomorrow if I wanted to.

          Human development is a process of growth and exploration. It's not a deterministic process of like following a flow chart to your destination. People self-select who they are and who they will become. It is an amazing process that is shrouded in mystery. Telling someone that they are who they are, and they can't choose is as bad as telling them that it's wrong to be who they are because the did have a choice. Either is dis-empowering and unloving. Ultimately, you are responsible for who you are and who you will become. Where these Christian nut-jobs get screwed up they think it's their job to take that responsibility from the ones who rightly have it.

          This app is misguided, but it's completely voluntary. If it's another step in people learning about who they are and taking the next step, I'm all for it, no matter how misguided it is.

          • by mangu ( 126918 )

            If there were a gay gene, they'd have found it by now.

            It seems that there's evidence for it []. Of course, the genome isn't everything, but it determines what tendencies we will have.

            • Just like there are genes that predispose people to be fat, I'm sure there are genes that predispose people away from being straight. That doesn't mean there's no choice. It merely makes it harder to lose the weight for the former group, and harder to have fulfilling, sexually intimate relationships with the opposite gender for the latter group.

              If there were no choice about it, then I don't see how my identical-twin cousins could have one turn out gay and one turn out straight.

              Those who claim that it's ju

      • Re:Amazing. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithy@gm a i l .com> on Sunday March 20, 2011 @05:32AM (#35548656)

        Someone erroneously posted below that homosexuality is a preference. Its not.

        (This is in no way an ad hominem.)

        Even if it were , it's irrelevant. A person (and that includes faux persons like corporations) has no more right to discriminate against you because of your choice of bedmate(s) as they do because of your choice of cheese, or beer.

        Whether or not sexuality is choice is utterly irrelevant to anything. It has no meaningful impact on someone's ability to live their life, unless their purpose is discriminatory to start with.

    • This one annoyed me when it started to become popular. Maybe we should just blame South Park for it, but it seems to be a juvenile thing about making yourself feel more secure about your masculinity and sexual orientation by using the alternative as an insult and as a tool for social pressure. Is it because boys that age are still scared of girls, and need extra social pressure to go out and interact with them to avoid being thought of as gay, and they'd rather be harassed as being gay, when they're know

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 19, 2011 @06:52PM (#35545006)

    So would a god bashing app be allowed?

    • by stokessd ( 89903 )

      Christopher Hitchens is on iTunesU. Which is pro-Brain rather than pro-god. So in that regard, yes, it's very god bashing.

    • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:04PM (#35545684)

      Sometimes there's a fine line between "bashing" and "detracting" but it's there. An app that encourages gay people to not be gay is hardly bashing, even if you don't approve of the underlying assumptions.

    • Does it depend on which god? People believe in so many different ones! Also, why would it matter to bash some imaginary entity or entities? What about a Santa Claus bashing app?

    • In the minds of some Christians, any time you do something that doesn't "glorify God", you're basically bashing him. Essentially, you're supposed to be devoting as much waking time as possible to him in some way, either thinking about him, praying to him, converting other people to your religion, etc. So playing a game that has no religious content, or listening to non-Christian music is bad because you could spend that time doing something religious instead.

    • by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @11:45PM (#35547366)

      So would a god bashing app be allowed?

      I would imagine so. Frankly, people should be applauding the fact that Apple has way loosened up on their editorial stance of the App Store and have started letting things in that are more risque and potentially offensive. It's not like they automatically install apps to your phone, you still have to go out and download it yourself. And this is certainly not an app that you will find in an Apple commercial (although I think that would be hilarious), but that doesn't mean they should have rejected it.

      Freedom of speech goes in every direction, people. I know many of you think that freedom of speech should only count for what YOU think and what YOU have to say, but it doesn't. Sorry.

      (I completely respect the gay community and disagree with the 'Gay Cure' app, but censorship of any kind is an evil thing that only leads to more censorship. Freedom for all is more important than emotional comfort for some.)

    • Would you say that the first amendment is a good thing, so long as the only things that are allowed to be expressed are those you agree with?

      If you condemn folks for having a religious view on homosexuality, you brand yourself a hypocrite-- you would force your own views on others in the name of promoting free speech.

  • by Merls the Sneaky ( 1031058 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @06:53PM (#35545008)

    Homosexual? There's an app for that!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by click2005 ( 921437 ) *

      I'd be interested to know how it works.

      My guess is.. If the on-iDevice microphone hears you mention Justin Bieber's ass it shows you a pair of tits?

      • If the on-iDevice microphone hears you mention Justin Bieber's ass it shows you a pair of tits?

        Showing tits to a homosexual man would not get any reaction, or maybe disgust. Ie. it wouldn't work.

        As an aside, I don't understand anyways how one could "cure" homosexuality. It's like saying you can cure someone from listening to metal, or from liking steaks. Atleast I know I can somehow just suddenly decide and stop being interested in other girls, no matter how hard I'd try. It's a fact, and at the age of 28 I do quite think I know myself well enough to know that it's not just something anyone can change.

        And doesn't the bible anyways tell one must not lie? Isn't it also a form of lying to know that you're homosexual deep inside but try to pose as a heterosexual person, both to yourself and possible partners and outside society? Ergo, wouldn't it be against the bible, too? It's something that has always bothered me. Then again, bible has lots of things that get contradicted by the very same book they're in..

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by gmhowell ( 26755 )

          It's a fact, and at the age of 28 I do quite think I know myself well enough to know that it's not just something anyone can change.

          Dear God, you're gay.

        • by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:26PM (#35545350)

          the Bible also has nothing against lesbians, only gay males... actually, some of the ways of reading the book of Ruth, she can be interpreted as a lesbian.... :) Personally... I made an arrangement with the Bible decades ago: I don't bother it, and it doesn't bother me. My girlfriend has different issues with it, but that's because her father is a pastor. (personally, I think that the xian God is petty, vindictive, and cliquish, and certainly not the kind of deity I'd want to break bread with)

          More on topic... the lying/bible thing... have you ever seen the movie For The Bible Tells Me So? They address the issue of these so-called "straight camps" in a pretty blunt way: it puts a kind of social negative pressure on people who are gay, discouraging them from accepting themselves, and teaching them to be ashamed of their natural feelings. That lack of self-acceptance is one of the leading causes of suicide within the LGBT community, at least in my experience. I have to ask how many gay boys and girls killed themselves without ever coming out, because they were afraid of being accepted... I have a girlfriend who's in the middle of exactly that debate with herself right now, because her parents are vehemently religious, and she's trans. I'm really worried for how it's going to turn out for her, and I sincerely hope she can get the hell out of her parents' house and into a safe place soon.

          (and I tried to be straight. once. when I was 14. I got sick. literally. threw up. and didn't date anybody again until university... and yet still when I told my mom I was queer, she replied "no you're not"... I was lucky, though.... both my parents have happily accepted me once they saw the difference that not lying about myself made to my general sense of well-being and happiness).

          • by mallyn ( 136041 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @09:21PM (#35546440) Homepage
            Lets have an app to build your own bible.

            The bible we have now is the result of an app developed by a startup in Rome in about 300 AD.

            That startup got venture funding from Emperor Constantine's capital funds firm

            Constantine funding of the Bible app was a strategic investment. It was not for profit, but for consolidation of power.

            You see, religion at this time was like a bunch of little computers that were not interconnected. They each had their own autonimous power and rule.

            Constantine knew that if he created a single mainframe religion, he can exert power over the people because their bunch of little computers would no longer be relevant.

            Of course, slashdot was not invented at that time, therefore there was no story

            Now, with our internet and bunch of interconnected little computers, the mainframe is no longer relevant. It's pieces are now found on Ebay and many ham radio flea markets.

            Luv and Peace

        • by pipelayerification ( 1707222 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @09:13PM (#35546380)
          I've met a few vegetarians that thought I could be cured of liking steaks if only I tried a little harder.
          • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @12:33AM (#35547596) Journal

            I'm a vegetarian, and I can't agree with them. Humans are naturally omnivores, and we've been cooking meat over fire for several hundred thousand years (rather long than I'd have expected), and, well, cooked meat is tasty. I don't eat it because of the ethical issues with killing animals for food, but that doesn't make them stop tasting good.

            Now, they might be able to cure you of disliking vegetables, if they've got any cooking skills, but that's really a separate problem.

        • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @10:37PM (#35547002) Homepage

          cure someone from listening to metal

          Everything after Kill 'Em All created a lot of "former metal fans".


          Wanna know how I know you're gay?

      • by Undead Waffle ( 1447615 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:13PM (#35545222)

        I would expect a question and answer system.

        Are you a:

        1. Man?
        2. Woman?

        Tonight do you plan to:

        1. Have sex with a man?
        2. Have sex with a woman?
        3. Watch TBN?

        If 1 & 1 or 2 & 2:

        You do realize that if you do that you are going to hell, right?

        If 1 & 2 or 2 & 1:

        You make baby Jesus cry.

        If 1 & 3 or 2 & 3:

        Be sure to buy our merchandise!

      • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:16PM (#35545252)

        From the website [] it just seems like an app that shows the organization's events and explains their points of view. You may not like their points of view but it's pretty harmless. And given the rating it received it's highly unlikely it discusses sexuality at all.

  • Free speech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SheeEttin ( 899897 ) <> on Saturday March 19, 2011 @06:54PM (#35545024) Homepage
    How nice for them.
    "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
    • Re:Free speech (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @06:58PM (#35545066) Journal

      I would normally agree with you quite vehemently, but Apple has already taken it upon themselves to act as 'moral guide' by denying pornographic apps. In doing so, they are no longer defending all freedom of expression, and thus can't legitimately claim to be taking a stand for free speech in allowing this.

    • Re:Free speech (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:08PM (#35545164) Homepage

      I am gay, I consider Exodus International's activities deceptively cruel to the point of fraud, and I find the app itself offensive.

      And I hope that Apple allows the app to remain in the App Store.

      No one has a right to not be offended. If the principle of free speech means anything it means that offensive speech is also allowed and protected, or it's a hollow and hypocritical principle. Even so-called "hate speech" is still just "speech" that expresses a feeling of "hate". It should be allowed.

      Just categorize the app accurately: put it with the fart apps.

  • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @06:57PM (#35545054) Homepage

    Apple accepts this app and they're attacked for being anti-gay, supporting homophobia, etc... If Apple rejects this app, they'll be attacked for infringing on free speech, supporting a particular political agenda, etc... Either way, you're pissing customers off.

    But all I feel is schadenfreude. They got themselves into this mess by imposing editorial control over the iPhone in the first place. They made their bed, now they get to lie in it.

    • Your last line really says it all about Apple, that is all the point in this whole post. Apple tried to act like God, now they have to deal with God-sized issues.
  • It will be interesting to read how many people want this app censored. I'm guessing someone will even try to argue it was wrong to censor the Mark Fiore app but that Apple should censor this one.

    • Re:Censor or not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:06PM (#35545148) Journal

      It was wrong to censor the Mark Fiore app, it is wrong to deny porn apps, but since that's the path Apple have chosen to take, I'd also expect them to censor an app which implies someone's sexuality is a thing which can or should be 'cured'.

      Apple should be supporting free speech, and if that were the case I would say that while I find the opinions of the app developer extremely unpleasant, I support their right to speak. But Apple aren't supporting free speech in general - if the conservative groups get censorship of content they find offensive, then the gay right groups damn well deserve the same treatment. By far the preferable option is to defend that which I despise just as strongly as that which I support, but the horse already bolted there.

      • Re:Censor or not? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:14PM (#35545230)

        I'd also expect them to censor an app which implies someone's sexuality is a thing which can or should be 'cured'.

        Why? What if a guy wants to change? Shouldn't he be free to try? Or should other people decide "The Right Choice" for him?

        And maybe he can't be "cured", but maybe he can have a life that is closer to his preference. You'd deny him the opportunity to try?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MoonBuggy ( 611105 )

          The very concept flies in the face of generally accepted science - consider the backlash you would (rightly) get if we were talking about race rather than sexuality, for example. That said, I support people's right to do and say whatever the hell they like, however stupid and potentially psychologically harmful, as long as it doesn't directly infringe on the rights and freedoms of others, but Apple are the ones who declared themselves moral arbiters here, and that changes this situation drastically.

          By rejec

  • Seriously. How many more downloads will be generated for it based on this press?

  • by dicobalt ( 1536225 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:00PM (#35545094)
    "Stop using Apple products."
  • Anyone have a 'Religiousness Cure' app handy that can help people become atheist? Would be fun to watch the reactions when Apple approve that one...
    • Anyone have a 'Religiousness Cure' app handy that can help people become atheist? Would be fun to watch the reactions when Apple approve that one...

      Apple has approved a number of atheist apps, including one using the mildly derogatory term "BibleThumper": []

    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:19PM (#35545284)

      Anyone have a 'Religiousness Cure' app handy that can help people become atheist? Would be fun to watch the reactions when Apple approve that one...

      If reading the Bible doesn't turn people into atheists, no app is going to do it.

      • "These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy: The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be splashed against the sides of the altar. All its fat shall be offered: the fat tail and the fat that covers the internal organs, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys. The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering presented to
  • by Spykk ( 823586 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:06PM (#35545152)
    It took awhile, but Apple is finally going to have to face the consequences for putting themselves in a position to choose what is and is not allowed to run on their devices. Next up expect a lawsuit because someone used an app that Apple approved for copyright infringement and then the snowball will really start to move.
    • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:16PM (#35545250)

      Isn't deciding what to sell (and what not to sell) something that every retailer does on a daily basis?

      Should every store that does not sell everything be expecting a law suit?

      • The problem is that Apple has set itself up as the only store.

        Consider the magazine example. You own a magazine shop and you find Playboy, Penthouse, and their ilk offensive. You don't want to carry those magazines.

        Well, of course, you have every right to not carry them. However, it's likely that if you don't carry them, those customers who would buy those magazines will stop buying all their magazines from you. After all, a customer isn't going to buy Field & Stream and Guns & Ammo from you
      • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @09:30PM (#35546512)

        Should every store that does not sell everything be expecting a law suit?

        This is America. Everyone should always be expecting a lawsuit.

      • Isn't deciding what to sell (and what not to sell) something that every retailer does on a daily basis?

        Sure, but at the same time they shouldn't expect not to be judged by those decisions. Particularly when one of their criteria is for the products it sells to be "family-friendly" to such a degree that an app for browsing swimsuits or lingerie with models pictures is banned, but then they allow an app about "curing" homosexuality like it is a disease. If you're going to play moral policeman, expect to hav

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      OR you could read RTFA and find out this has happened before :

      "However, when faced with a similar issue last November, after an app was created around the Manhattan Declaration which is hostile to gay marriage, Apple came down on the side of gay rights and removed the app."

      OR you could have a look at the website [] and see that the app looks like pretty much just an app-version of their website, with a calendar and twitter feed and so on ... real scary stuff (!)

      Nah, let's just all stay ill-informed proceed wit

  • lol (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @07:07PM (#35545158)

    It's funny to read the same people decry Apples appstore censorship appeal to Steve Jobs to remove the app on the basis.

    Free Speech hurts doesn't it?

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      It's funny to read the same people decry Apples appstore censorship appeal to Steve Jobs to remove the app on the basis.

      Yeah, hypocrisy is a bitch isn't it.

      Those of us who are deriding Apple here are doing it for the same reasons. Apple are showing their hypocrisy here, first by censoring applications that they have a problem with but not censoring applications that others have a problem with. The problem is with double standards, Porn must be stopped but attacking Gay's is perfectly OK.

      Apple chose

  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:02PM (#35545664) Homepage
    Now, they are going to accept the "Christian Cure" app as well, of course...
  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:03PM (#35545678) Homepage

    If they hadn't assigned themselves the rule of censor, nobody would complain about this. The app would still be offensive, but Apple would be assigned no blame for allowing its distribution. It would be held up as an example of universal freedom of speech.

    Having decided to act as the official nanny of every Apple customer, though, they are fully responsible for the shit they let through, too. Don't let them off the hook for this.

  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @08:49PM (#35546134)

    I'm going to download it so I can write a review. Here's the preview:

    "**** awesome app. I was blowing random dudes at gas stations but after 3 days of using this app I'm down to finding Justin Bieber attractive. With constant use, I hope by next week I'll like boobs."

  • by Tjp($)pjT ( 266360 ) on Saturday March 19, 2011 @09:07PM (#35546314)
    If Apple (where Tim Cook, interim leader of Apple, has been outed as gay) removes this App for gay bashing, then all the religious apps will need to be removed to satisfy the atheists, "sexy" male oriented apps removed for the feminists and vice versa (although straight males seem to have an attachment to lesbian sexuality), and so on until the PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals, oh no, the first amendment died that day and that other PETA won in court), well those guys demand all the animal cruelty Apps be removed (i.e., it has an animal image therefore encourages animal exploitation. So no more Penguin Catapult or Angry Birds will remain. All in All after everyone is done objecting the Apple "App Store"(tm) will look as barren as the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 phone Applet Market.

    Stop the political correctness overreaching because they're well beyond the point of affecting my individual rights. It is equal protection under the law, not the orwellian equal protection for all but some are more equal than others ...
  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Sunday March 20, 2011 @12:11AM (#35547494)
    If you consider yourself gay and you can be re-educated to prefer hetero sex, then in reality you were bisexual, you are bisexual, and you will always be bisexual. So yes, a few people can be converted, those people that were actually bisexual to begin with. For those that are truly homosexual, this software should be about as successful as re-educating true heterosexuals to prefer gay sex, i.e. it ain't gonna happen!

    And yes, insisting that the sexual preference that God created someone with is something that needs to be "cured" is offensive on many levels.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel