Apple Pulls Exodus International Anti-gay from App Store

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The controversial Exodus International iPhone app denouncing homosexuality quietly disappeared from Apple’s App Store Wednesday morning. The app first appeared on the App Store in February and since has been the target of an online petition urging Apple to pull the title.

Exodus International appApple blocks Exodus International app

The Exodus International organization described itself as “committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth,” and was promoting the app as a tool to help with its anti-gay program geared at “curing” homosexuality.

Exodus International received warning on Tuesday that its app was being removed from the App Store, organization senior director Jeff Buchanan told The Mac Observer, for being offensive to a substantially large number of people. He added “That’s the same reason Apple gave for pulling the Manhattan Declaration app.”

As of late Wednesday morning, the Exodus International Web site was still promoting the app even though it isn’t available through the App Store any longer.

[Thanks to GearLog for the heads up.]

Comments

akcarver

This is a bad move. Apple should not censor any app that is not maliciously coded. The best option for speech you don’t agree with is more speech, not censorship.

ctopher

My X-Box 360/Kinect “stone the adultress” game was denied by Microsoft. :(

geoduck

I was wondering if some VIP at Apple might have a “what the hell did we do that for” moment.

macobjectivist

This is not an anti-gay app; TMO I dispute the headline you have used that has basically been repeated by various media outlets.

Exodus International is a Christian ministry of a conservative persuasion.  They do not HATE anyone.

I agree with others who oppose Apple’s censorship.  This is one advantage to the Android platform where customers can install apps from outside Google’s Market.

Today is the day when I have decided I will never buy another iOS device.  My iPad 1st gen. is up for sale.

jfbiii

Apple is not censoring anything. The anti-gay message of Exodus Int. is still available on every single iOS device. Just not as an App. You have to get it from the web.

geoduck

Exodus International is a Christian ministry of a conservative persuasion.? They do not HATE anyone.

In my experience, most of those that use and promulgate hate speech do not know it is hate speech. Most of those that do bigoted things do not understand what they do is bigoted. No one thinks they are the bad guy.

Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the Word of God, all that you say? I beseech you, in the bowels of Christhn1, think it possible you may be mistaken. Precept may be upon precept, line may be upon line, and yet the Word of the Lord may be to some a Word of Judgment
Oliver Cromwell

Bob C

I agree with kbvickory. The title of “Anti-guy” is clearly from an ignorant point of view.

I learned of Exodus when I realized they had a location down the street from me. I went to an open/public meeting to “hear it from the horses mouth.” This group is amazingly full of love and truth.  This group is not what the general public may think. They provide help to Christians who are wanting to be straight life from the inside out. Christians are the ones going to Exodus for assistance. Exodus just makes themselves available.

Jgame

I fill sorry for apple on that one. Either having the label of being anti-gay or being restrictive on free speech is a hard choice. I think they should outsource the app store or rather say that control of it is a third party company.

They then can allow controversial apps and not get stigma for it.

Mikuro

Apple has brought this upon themselves. Nobody could have reasonably expected Apple to police their app store on an ideological basis, but Apple has set that precedent. The more they do it, the more compelled they will be to do it in the future. This can only go downhill.

Ethan

“Apple is not censoring anything” I think many first amendment lawyers will disagree with you. Just because Apple owns the App Store does not mean that basic civil rights don’t apply in their walled garden (much to the chagrin of Steve Jobs.) The legal s@#$&t storm this will bring down on them will be a good lesson that just because “x” makes money does not mean “x” is okay to do.  If they make the process available to the public to build apps then this exodus has a right to use it as well. There was no technical issue with the app as it did get approved for the store. So Apple pulled it for the views it promotes.

I know you want Apple to do no wrong but it’s obvious the shakey ground they have chosen to step on to.

Apple really has become the face on the big screen in their 1984 ad. irony is awesome….

jfbiii

Ethan, you obviously don’t understand the purpose or scope of the first amendment.

jfbiii

@Bob C: “This group is not what the general public may think.” No, you’re right. They’re much more than what you have stated: they are a political group funded by a political religious organization that participates politically in the public sphere to continue to deny rights to a minority. They have a history of doing so. Of course they want to present themselves in the best light possible. But religious prejudice against sexual minorities is not any less hateful than religious prejudice against racial minorities.

Ethan

It really does not matter what you or I think jfbiii, the lawyers and judges will deal with it. And honestly I think you miss how agressive first amendment lawyers are. But hey keep living in the walled garden thinking Apple is untouchable and can do no wrong. That’s your right.

mhikl

I suspect a boo-boo on Apple’s part. I totally agree with nixing porn, racial, sexual or any blatant hate in any form. I’ve seen every age group using the iPad from very young to very old toothless droolers. The iPad is truly an all extended family gizmo.

But such text, value oriented apps like the Exodus and Manhattan Declaration apps demand sophisticated reading skills beyond the minds of small and not so small children.

Apple seems a little too focused on the controversial. That is not healthy and not what Apple should be getting its knickers in a knot over.

Leave raunch to niche club Android tablets. It’s in the class of Penthouse and third rate porn rags and tabloid news anyways.

Are you reading, EnvyBoy. Applefans do take Apple to task. Regularly.

Ethan

If you have an ipad in the house with small children then it’s the parent’s job to lock it down and make sure to monitor the usage and what is downloaded. Not have Apple start picking the moral “correctness” of your family. I think the Exodus is garbage but don’t believe that x number of users have the right to silence y number of users (the supporters of this particular app). Basically we now have apple choosing our morals for us-little scary for a multinational to do that AND have users support abdicating their choices to a faceless tech company whose only goal legally is to increase stockholder profit.

As for the envyboy comment I find that funny as the owner of several Apple products (i know i listed them in another post at some point.) You assume that anyone who takes Apple legitimately to task is a windows/android heathen. Sorry to burst your stereotype-I’ve used Apple products since 1992 but I think they have crossed into controlling group think with their iOS devices. Trust me - i don’t envy any iOS device user at all.

If the gay community hates those apps then produce an app that counterpoints those views and do it beautifully so the young conflicted gays have resources to help them figure out who they are and be confident in that self identity. Silencing opinions is not healthy for a society longterm, it’s beter to debate openly and win that debate. Same with porn-it’s legal so it should be allowed and put some parental controls that lockdown access to the apps that are tagged as adults. that will help the parents manage it.

zewazir

Three cheers for the intolerance of the left. You destroy freedom in the name of freedom.  Congratulations for your continued bigotry against religious beliefs in the name of “equality”.  Who is equal in the eyes of the left?  Only those who agree with them.

Jgame

I highly disagree with the app! But I will fight to the End to defend their right to say it. Apple implement some damn parental controls please. Stop deciding what is morally right and take a back seat.

jfbiii

and do it beautifully so the young conflicted gays have resources to help them figure out who they are and be confident in that self identity.

In theory this is an awesome idea. In reality, groups like Exodus International target the parents of young gay people to persuade them that gay is a problem and incompatible with a happy life. They misrepresent the lives of gay people in order to foster alarm with the parents so that parents will submit their kids to potentially harmful therapies (with life-long harmful after-effects) against which young people are powerless to protect themselves because they lack the capacity to be self-sufficient.

I may indeed underestimate how aggressive first amendment lawyers can be, but the message of EI is not barred from iOS devices, it has only been removed from The App Store, which is not a public square.

This is much less an argument about whether Apple is right or wrong and much more about whether a group of bigots has the right to co-opt someone else’s soapbox to spread their message and, with intent, harm people who deserve society’s protection.

zewazir

...but the message of EI is not barred from iOS devices, it has only been removed from The App Store…

“...but they are not barred from drinking in the park, just from the WHITE fountain…”

“...but they are NOT barred from getting a public education, just barred from our WHITE schools…”

Suppression of freedom of expression only in a specific forum is still suppression of freedom of expression, no matter how you try to cover it with daisies.

Some people actually worry more about their relationship with God than they do about free expression of sex. That you disagree does not make them wrong. If you were harmed by such, I am sorry for your negative experiences.  However, in another thread on this topic, we heard from someone whose experience with EI’s program was opined as positive. Again, YOUR experiences do not invalidate those who feel differently.

zewazir

This is much less an argument about whether Apple is right or wrong and much more about whether a group of bigots has the right to co-opt someone else?s soapbox to spread their message and, with intent, harm people who deserve society?s protection.

So now you are actually accusing EI of INTENDING harm? What have you besides your “personal experiences” (ie: biases) to back that particular claim?

Ethan

“In reality, groups like Exodus International target the parents of young gay people to persuade them that gay is a problem and incompatible with a happy life.”

Then produce an app for the parents to enlighten them. It’s not healthy for 140k to decide what millions of others should have access to. If Exodus is producing illegal content then take them to court. Once they are found guilty then Apple will have the rule of law on their side to base their decision on.

All this fuzzy back and forth, lurching around Apple is doing with the app store approval process will just get them bad press and sued for discrimination.

BTW: When did the app store become “Your Soapbox” and no one else’s? Are you telling me that only people who support gay and lesbian policies buy iDevices? That’s rather naive…

jfbiii

Unless one is out of control, everything one does is with intent.

jfbiii

I haven’t claimed The App Store as “My Soapbox.”

Apple already has the rule of law on their side for their decision to pull the app.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation is still legal in most areas of the country, no matter the orientation. Ironically, EI has been politically active in this area, attempting to kill laws aimed at making discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. That kind of activism causes real harm to real people, and yes, EI meant to do that. I heard it from the head of the organization during a discussion between the two of us at the time it was happening.

advodude

Gay teens who are bullied in school are 4 times more likely to commit suicide. Gay teens with parents who are not supporting them are 8 times more likely to commit suicide.

This app lends credence to the parents who want to pray away the gay. Thereby making the kids and families who use this app 8 times more likely to see a love one take their life. It’s not freedom of speech to remove it. They can preach their hate anywhere. Just like Fred Phelps.

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