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Apple Removes Gay Cure App From App Store 917

recoiledsnake writes "Apple has removed the Gay Cure app after the pressure on Apple to remove the app started to snowball, culminating in an online petition initiated by Change.org which collected over 140,000 online signatures from people who wanted the app removed. Searching for the app now yields zero search results and Exodus International President Alan Chambers tweeted the following on Tuesday night. 'It's official, the @ExodusInl App is no longer in the @AppStore. Incredibly disappointing. Watch out, it could happen to you. #freedom' Gay Cure isn't the first app Apple has removed for touting an anti-homosexual philosophy. Apple back in November removed an app called the Manhattan Declaration which advocated the dignity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman." I don't think Apple should have banned it: they should have just packaged it with an app to cure bigotry.
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Apple Removes Gay Cure App From App Store

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  • Hypocrisy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Patrick May ( 305709 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:19AM (#35585886)
    Everyone complains about Apple's tight control over what apps can be installed -- until that power is used to ban an app they disagree with. Sure it's a bigoted, ridiculous app. But just who's phone is it?
  • by SHP ( 8391 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:21AM (#35585900)

    So Visa/Mastercard can turn you away if they don't like your politics. Apple can turn you away if they don't like your ideology. What's next? And does this bother anyone besides me? Could it not be argued that things like card payment services and the iPhone platform are public accommodations that should be open to all on a non-discriminatory basis? If not, we risk granting de facto censorship ability to private organizations, relinquishing a substantial part of the freedom gained over the past few hundred years. This concerns me.

    And yes, I would feel the same way regardless of the beliefs and ideologies being rejected. Freedom is freedom, regardless of one's beliefs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:22AM (#35585910)

    I may not like Apple, but this is the game you play when a single private entity controls a distribution channel.

    Granted, I really don't like the app or it's message either. So this is kind of a win/win from my perspective.

  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:22AM (#35585918)

    On the one hand, it's offensive and Apple has a previous precedent of banning things it deems controversial. Despite complaints and a few inconsistency it seems like they reasonably adhere to this. Which is good since even if you disagree with the policy, at least you can more or less expect what will happen if you push it. Thus I was surprised when this got approved.

    on the other hand, if all it takes is a petition to remove an app then boy is that a bad precedent to set. Consider how the SF library system in the mid 80s bolderized mary popins to remove the uncultured ebonics of the black maid because they deemed it portrayed black women badly. One can go on. but everything pisses some group off. That in fact was the rationale Ray Bradbury gave for writing Farenheight 451. All books offend so burn them all.

    And when I think about it, what do I care if there is a gay cure app? I'm not planning on buying it. If you think about it, the urge to ban that app is pretty aligned with the urge to write that app. that is, the writer of the app is probably concerned about what gay people might be doing in bed behind closed doors but he will never encouter that himself. and the people offended by it will never buy that app. yet both want to eliminate things that abstractly bother them

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:27AM (#35585992)

    I'm a developer and I'm selling programs for Mac OS, but as long as Apple decides which app to include in the app store and which not I won't buy or use an iPhone and won't develop for iOS. It's as simple as that. There should be no restrictions about which app someone can legally run on their computer, phone, or any other device they have bought, and Apple has set a bad precedent with the app store model.

    Before people complain that company X can sell on their own store whatever they want: Sure they can. If others can legally open another app store for the same device, that should be fine. But locking devices/only allowing whitelisted apps should definitely be illegal, and I hope that future legislation will make it illegal (but doubt it will happen).

  • by nyctopterus ( 717502 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:28AM (#35586002) Homepage

    Dude, acting effeminate, loving musicals, having a house with incredible interior design and going antiquing are not being gay. Loving the cock and not the vagina is. So why should the guy change his personality just because he managed to change his sexual preferences? (And just to be clear, I don't think for a second that he did manage that.) You're being bigoted.

  • you have a choice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Twillerror ( 536681 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:29AM (#35586014) Homepage Journal

    Write the app for android and distribute it via your site. I'm guessing this wouldn't get removed from marketplace.

    Apple has the right to remove anything. If you don't like it don't support them by buying their products, otherwise deal with it. The app store is like a cable channel. If comedy central doesn't want to run your ad no matter how you pay them they don't have to.

    Keep writing letters saying you want to be able to install your own apps via websites, but other than that Apple can do what they want. I just buy Android even if it isn't quite as nice, because lets be honest...of the 100,000s of app only about 1,000 are worth anything. ie. like my banks native app...and although I had to wait 6 months I got it on the Android. Angry brids has been on the android for a long time now...what are these magical apps that you can't get on Android or at least some kind of a clone.

  • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:32AM (#35586074) Journal
    Actually, yes, the post is offensive because it promulgates a stereotype of homosexuality - that it is all about being feminine and obsessing about interior design, or that liking musicals is a sign of being gay. I don't care about the app. If someone isn't comfortable with their sexuality and wants to try and shift it around a bit, that's their business. But re-enforcing stereotypes and caricatures of homosexuality affects actual homosexuals.
  • Pretty much, yeah. The fact that it (was) there didn't matter to me - it wasn't a concern. But now that it's gone, there's a certain measure of "yeah, take that, you bigots," belying the fact that it's just another increment towards "Apple's Internet," which is different from Android's, Comcast's, Etc. "Walled gardens" might mean something after all. I guess you gotta go with the best one... does cleaning up bigotry (bending to the pressure) count in their favor or not?
  • by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:33AM (#35586084) Homepage Journal

    would you support an apple app that said instead of getting vaccinations, just hold the iphone to your forehead for 5 minutes while the app is running?

    of course you wouldn't because its not a replacement for vaccinations, in fact its worse

    the same thing with a "cure" for homosexuality. there is no cure for homosexuality, nor does there need to be one. the point being, this app is a waste of time, and wastes the time of the closeted homosexual who is ashamed of his identity. he has to get over his shame and come out of the closet. no app will "cure" him, ever

    so its not about free speech, the same way what jenny mccarthy does with vaccination is not free speech: its dangerous. in jenny mccarthy's case, it results in kids getting sick and dying because she convinced them not to get vaccinated. in this apple app's instance, it convinces closeted homosexuals who are depressed and distraught as it is, and keeps them buried in the closet, prolonging the period in which something psychologically awful might happen

    the point is that homosexuality needs to be accepted, so homosexuals can come out of the closet, for the sake of their psychological well-being. its not about free speech when the free speech in issue is just ignorant intolerance that results in psychological damage, or worse (homophobic attacks, encouraged by the anti-homosexual hate speech of the ignorant)

  • by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:33AM (#35586092)
    Really ... it's offensive? Funny, I have to put up with all the crap about losing weight and stop smoking and drinking and taking drugs. All of those comments and ads treat me as a second class citizen, as if something is wrong with me. How would you like to turn on the TV and see ads telling you what how awful you are because you smoke or are overweight.

    Fortunately, I don't give a frig about what other people think, and live my life the way I want to. Sure, I try to loose weight. But I refuse to stop enjoying a cigar and glass of bourbon now and then, and the even rarer toke.

    Maybe people need to stop being so freakin' sensitive. It's OK for others to think one's behavior is unacceptable. How one handles that opinion is a reflection upon their own traits. Those that tried to ban this app just can't face the fact that a lot of people think homosexual sex is disgusting (well .. just the guy kind anyway).

    What's next, a ban on an app that says it's OK to stop picking your nose???

    What a bunch of whining babies. If you don't like the app, don't install it.
  • by BetterSense ( 1398915 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:39AM (#35586154)
    I agree. I guess I just don't see what's so offensive about this. It's not like they forced anyone to use this app. What harm could this app possibly cause anyone? I agree that it seems a bit strange to me, but anyone who would purchase this app can be assumed to be interested in using it. If nobody wants it, and there really are no gay people that are interested in using this kind of thing, then nobody will buy it. It's just not a problem to be fixed. If there ARE people out there who are interested in a "Gay Cure" app, then why wouldn't you want them to have access to it? If you oppose this app you are basically saying "All people with gay tendencies should stay gay, they should be gay and they should like it, because if they did otherwise would crush my worldviews/conflict with the ax I have to grind". I thought that the open minded and undiscriminatory attidude would be to let people be free to explore their sexuality on their own. That IS the goal of the "sexual freedom/equality" crowd, right? Or is their agenda something else (blanket pro-gaydom)?

    I just don't understand the mentality of "I am offended that Apple would provide the community at large the opportunity to purchase something that nobody could possibly be interested in because I will not allow the possibility that there might be someone interested in this sort of thing. On top of that, I will actively work to get this app removed so that nobody is able to use it". If you ask me the greater bigots are not the creators of the app, it's the 140,000 who went out of their way to have it removed just because it offended their own delicate sensibilities.
  • by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:48AM (#35586292)

    I have to agree. It bothers me to see a "gay cure" app. But not to the point that I think they should have been banned.

    It's certainly contentious, but not outright hostile. However wrong their basis may be, it's implied that the creators are putting that app out to help those who they believe to have a problem.

    From an abstract perspective, I feel that the appropriate response for this sort of ignorance would be to enlighten, rather than to censor. It's not helpful to simply stifle those that would disagree with me, the ultimate goal is to show them why they should agree. Shutting them up only hardens their hearts making it more difficult for meaningful discussion.

    Should they cross the line into hate speech, then I would see legitimate reasons to censor them, but this was not the case.

  • by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:51AM (#35586320)

    Well thank you, Taco, for calling everybody who doesn't approve of homosexuality a bigot. Have you, or any of the other homosexuality-supporters, ever considered that there are more than two sides to this? You don't have to fully 100% approve or disaprove of homosexuality, and as a Catholic I take offense when being labled as one of them.

    Dude. You're a bigot.

  • there are no two sides. unless by that you mean supporting someone's identity and denying them their identity

    no religion can be respected that denies someone who they are. there is no choice here. if you are born with the orientation to view members of your own sex as sexual objects, then you are who you are, and as long as what happens is between consenting adults, there is no crime committed, legally or spiritually

    i will respect no religious organization that is so caught up in mumbo jumbo that it thinks it has a right to tell people to deny themselves who they are. plus, the catholic church really needs to learn to shut up about delivering judgments on issues of human sexuality. seeing as the catholic church completely and utterly does nothing but screw that issue up: pedophile priests, helping spread AIDS in africa by telling people not to use condoms, continuing to population time bombs like in the philippines by denying people a right to family planning, etc. this contirbutes to human suffering. these are but a few of the examples of the teachings and policies of the catholic church directly contributing to human suffering in this world. this is what god wants? if jesus christ were alive today, compassionate man he was, he would be speaking out against the catholic church as an abomination of his beliefs

    frankly, i admire the catholic's church on issues of social justice, but it when it comes to issues of human sexuality in this world, the catholic church is categorically a force for evil in this world. a bunch of old grumpy VIRGIN MEN (no women, no married priests): what the bleep do these people know about human sexuality and why should we listen to their ideas about it, considering they have no experience with it (or, they're not supposed to, in the case of the many hypocrites on the subject matter in the church)?

    so you are right, bigotry is the wrong word

    strident arrogant ignorance. or how about hubris

    the catholic church really needs to shut up about any and all issues having to deal with human sexuality. it can't seem to do anything on that subject matter except cause evil in the world

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @10:58AM (#35586416) Journal

    Where is the left wing crying "censorship"? Censorship is bad no matter who does it.

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:04AM (#35586502) Homepage

    Sorry, that's all just bigotry with a load of after-the-fact bluster on top of it, as an attempt at justification.

    I know people who consider themselves Catholics who are entirely comfortable with homosexuals practising their sexual preference (and, equivalently, heterosexuals using contraception).

    You are allowed to disagree with the Pope, and you can still call yourself a Catholic if you like.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:04AM (#35586512)

    Well thank you, Taco, for calling everybody who doesn't approve of homosexuality a bigot

    Bigot, n., def.: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own. No, Taco has it right -- the vast majority of evidence on the topic supports the statement that homosexuality in a person cannot be altered. Claiming otherwise because of your personal beliefs is bigoted behavior. Hiding behind statements of religious persecution doesn't change this.

  • by raodin ( 708903 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:07AM (#35586546)

    Really? You think products to help people lose weight or stop smoking are even remotely in the same league as a "gay cure?"

    How about a "cure" for being black? Or a "cure" for being a Christian?

    Being overweight is the result of poor choices. Yeah, it sucks when people get picked on for it, but it is an unhealthy condition that can be changed. Offering people help with that process is not hate. Being gay is not a disease and it has no cure. Telling people that a basic part of who they are is a disease is hate.

    Maybe Apple shouldn't ban apps at all, I'd prefer that myself. They've already started down that road, however, and hate speech isn't exactly an unreasonable thing to ban, if you are going to ban anything.

  • by Brannon ( 221550 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:09AM (#35586588)

    by not displaying my political banners on the front of your house. Censorship is bad and evil you jackbooted thug!!!

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:14AM (#35586676)

    Censoring and name-calling are the new tolerance and open-mindedness.

    Face it, Slashdot is a site where bigotry against religious people is promoted and advanced. Slashdot editors and commenters also overwhelmingly approve of bigotry against corporate leaders and corporate workers. It's a fever swamp of hatred and prejudice against these people and others. And Taco leads.

  • by I am Jack's username ( 528712 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:17AM (#35586720)

    the real reason why it's sinful to the Church is that it denies the life-giving aspect of sexuality entirely

    Is it also sinful for postmenopausal women or sterile people to have sex? Or people who realize that human overpopulation is the root cause of almost every catastrophe facing the biosphere?

  • Re:One problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:22AM (#35586800) Homepage

    Do you therefore thing Amazon should remove Mein Kampf from its book store? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mein-Kampf-Uncensored-Adolf-Hitler/dp/0984536132/ [amazon.co.uk]

    OK, we can make an exception for Mein Kampf, perhaps, because anyone can put it in its historical context; but what if something similar were written today? Should Amazon not stock it? What if Amazon refused to stock material about some niche political view that you happened to agree with?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:24AM (#35586836)

    This. Replace "homosexual" with "pedosexual" in the above. Since neither orientation is one that someone chooses, they are the same.

  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:27AM (#35586886)

    How about a "cure" for being black? Or a "cure" for being a Christian?

    Well, I already know there are people out there who believe in those things, so it doesnt really affect me to know that they know how to write apps.

    and hate speech isn't exactly an unreasonable thing to ban, if you are going to ban anything.

    If you actually read what the app is like and what the writer's website is like, it doesnt exactly scream "burn the homos", nor does it look anything like what one would call hate speech.

  • i believe that pedophilia, like homosexuality, is a biological, natural, innate malformed sexual orientation. both are malformed in the darwinian sense, the sense that neither, biologically, results in offspring

    however, socially, homosexuality is harmless because it occurs between consenting adults. therefore there is no social reason to have any attitude towards homosexuality except to shrug: it doesn't matter, no big deal

    unfortunately, pedophiles are oriented towards children. children are not able to make informed consent. of course, children can be fooled into consenting, which many pedophiles think they are doing, but a child is in no position to make decisions about their sexuality, since their sexuality is not formed yet: there is no INFORMED consent possible. furthermore, the influence of the pedophile's advances on that child is harmful to that child's development of their own sexuality. what is appropriate and what is not. therefore the genetic future of the parent of that child is threatened. therefore there is an innate darwinian biological revulsion fear and hatred towards pedophilia: it threatens your genes by threatening the proper formation of the sexuality of your children, which is needed to pass on your genes

    so pedophiles, unfortunately, have an innate sexual orientation which utterly and completely dooms their entire lives. in this respect i think of pedophilia like i think of cystic fibrosis or huntington's disease: you are genetically doomed to a life of suffering. either the pedophile can try, often unsuccessfully, to suppress their sexuality their entire lives, or they can engage in activity that is not only criminal, and trangressive towards the healthy psycholigcal development of an innocent child, but you could get killed by enraged parents. there is no way a pedophile can exercise their sexuality without being a criminal. castration doesn't even work: the desires stay in the mind

    i really see no solution to pedophilia except banishment to northern greenland. it is a horrible curse. pedophiles just are innately incompatible with human society

  • by thedonger ( 1317951 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:41AM (#35587196)

    It bothers me to see a "gay cure" app.

    1. 1. Don't worry, no one is trying to force a cure on you; and,
    2. 2. What about all the people who really, truly want to be cured of "gay?"

    We preach that intolerance is wrong, but we are intolerant of people with opposing views. We can't tolerate the idea of a gay man wanting to learn to be straight. Even if the idea is wholly ridiculous, people have the right to do things we think are stupid (astrology, reiki, ouija board, need I continue?)

  • by uglyduckling ( 103926 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:56AM (#35587544) Homepage
    Thanks for injecting some rationality here. This is the thing I can't understand: if someone wants to change their gender, that's something that's seen as acceptable, even if a bit unusual. If someone wants to change their sexual orientation, it's presumed that someone with an agenda must have brainwashed that person and the community that shares their (original) orientation takes offence. No-one should be pushing this sort of thing on anybody, but I can't understand why it's an issue for such software to exist.
  • by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @11:58AM (#35587566)

    Perhaps they're simply happy that in a situation where censorship is already a given, it's better to accept that's the case and focus on the new battle- that of ensuring any censorship that does happen equally squeezes right wing religious bigotry and ignorance out of the equation. This doesn't stop protesting against censorship in general too, merely it's the case that that's just not what the battle was here.

    First they came for the Porn Apps.
    And I didn't speak out because that wasn't the battle, and, anyway, it's kinda overrated.

    Then they came for the Right-Wing-Bigots.
    And I didn't speak out because that wasn't the battle, and anyway, they kinda suck.

    Then they came for the Jews.
    And I didn't speak out because that wasn't the battle, and anyway, there's that whole Palestine thing ...

    Then they came for me.
    And there was no one left to speak out for me.

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:04PM (#35587686) Homepage Journal

    TO put it another way, the REAL problem is not whether this or any other particular app is "acceptable", its that if you buy an Apple product that is tied to their app store then Apple decide what software it is acceptable for you to use, not you.

  • by JosKarith ( 757063 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:12PM (#35587812)
    Rather than ban the Gay Cure app, I'd say bundle it with a Religion Cure app. See how long it takes for the complaints to start flooding in...
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @12:24PM (#35588018) Homepage

    As they don't run an uncensored store, and have, in the past, censored applications based on their arbitrary moral judgements, then it implies anything they allow through their filter is, by that same moral judgement, deemed acceptable by them.

    Nonsense. Do you think Penguin Classics condones the word "nigger," (as in Huck Finn), or that Random House approves of pedophilia (Lolita)? It's possible to have standards and not publish a book of fart jokes while at the same time not necessary agreeing with the content put forth in the works that *do* meet your standards. The same applies to apps.

    Free speech isn't just to protect speech we agree with -- anyone can do that -- but to protect speech we *disagree* with, however vehemently.

    I have to agree with whomever stated that it's disappointing to see Apple fold by mere virtue of a petition. This is especially troubling when lawmakers are pressuring Apple [cnet.com] to remove apps as well. Will they bow to that pressure too? Where does it end?

  • by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2011 @01:08PM (#35588748) Homepage

    Gee, 4 posts in and you're already assuming that the "left wing" is totally for this app's removal.

    I'm for seeing Apple squirm over this. They put themselves in this position of playing morality gatekeeper, and now they're in a no-win situation. Ultimately I think it's stupid for them to remove it, *except* that they'd already set the precedent by removing other offensive applications. Now they have to at least *pretend* to maintain some consistency.

    I'm loving it. No matter what happens, everybody loses.


The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal