Apple has removed an app it hosted for an Arlington-based religious group after a national gay rights organization lodged complaints to the tech giant.
On Friday, Living Hope Ministries confirmed that Apple had removed the app. The nonprofit’s executive director, who was not notified prior to the removal, said he would be asking for the app to be restored.
“I don’t know why they would have taken it down,” Ricky Chelette told The Dallas Morning News. “We’ll obviously appeal to them to reinstate it.”
Living Hope Ministries is a religious nonprofit that says it helps people “seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.” But LGBT groups have long accused it of engaging in “conversion therapy,” faith-based counseling aimed at diminishing or ridding someone of their homosexuality.
Apple CEO had earlier warned that hate message mongers have no place in the Tech giant.
“We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division, and violence, Cook said. “You have no place on our platform. You have no home here.” He said
Cook went on to say that this is a longtime view of Apple’s, and he pointed out the company’s removal of Infowars content earlier this year. Apple, he said, is not afraid to say that its values drive its curation decisions.
A petition had been Launched to remove an app from the Apple Store that promotes conversion therapy.
“We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help.”
The organization Truth Wins Out started a petition to get Apple to remove an app called Living Hope Ministries.
“The app falsely portrays being gay as an ‘addiction,’ ‘sickness, and ‘sin,’” the petition says.
“The American Psychiatric Association warns that attempts to change one’s sexual orientation can lead to ‘anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior,’ including suicide. Why would Apple allow its online store to be used as a platform to promote such dangerous, homophobic garbage?”
The free app, which is also available through the Google’s, Microsoft’s, and Amazon’s app stores, contains links to articles that promote conversion therapy.
One article listed under “Youth/Young Adults” has the title “Keys to Recovery from Same-Sex Attractions.” It tells readers to stop thinking about sex, to throw away anything that reminds them of their LGBTQ friends, and to find at least three “accountability partners” people who can be called whenever the reader feels tempted.
That is, Living Hope Ministries knows that there’s a significant risk that two ex-gay people who meet in private might end up having sex, which is just an odd thing that happens for no reason at all….
The petition has 342 signatures so far.
In 2011, the Apple Store pulled an app from Exodus International, an organization that promoted conversion therapy. Truth Wins Out said that that happened after a petition to remove the app got 150,000 signatures.