Monday, December 24, 2018

"Ex-Gay" App Dropped From Apple's Online Store After Petition Protest

So-called 'ex-gay therapy' can lead to anxiety, depression & suicide
(stock photo via Depositphotos)

An app promoting so-called “conversion therapy” has been removed from Apple’s App Store one day after LGBTQ advocacy group Truth Wins Out (TWO) launched a campaign in protest.

Non-profit Christian organization Living Hope Ministries had developed and promoted the free app for over three years, according to The Dallas Morning News.

But once the folks at TWO, which fights the ‘ex-gay’ myth, discovered the app, it was time for action.

A Change.org petition was launched asking Apple to remove the app from its store citing the many organizations (American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association to name a few) that oppose the practice as multiple studies show it can lead to anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior, including suicide.

In their petition, TWO asked, “Why would Apple allow its online store to be used as a platform to promote such dangerous, homophobic garbage?”

The app was dropped from Apple’s App Store the next day.

Apparently, the deletion occurred without notifying Living Hope Ministries.

Executive Director Ricky Chelette told The Dallas Morning News they plan to appeal the decision, adding, “I don’t know why they would have taken it down.”

On their website, Living Hope Ministries says its mission is “to proclaim God’s truth as we journey with those seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”

In a statement, Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen thanked Apple for “exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people.”

“Ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help,” he added.

The app is still available, though, on other digital platforms like Google and Amazon, and Besen is addressing those tech giants as well.

"Every minute this heinous product is available on these platforms, the potential exists for it to harm LGBT youth," says Besen. "We demand that Google and Amazon immediately stop selling and promoting this app, which dehumanizes LGBT people."

While Texas allows the harmful practice, conversion therapy has been banned for use on young people in 14 states as well as the District of Columbia.

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