The researcher whose work is cited by a group that posted an anti-gay app for the iPhone has demanded that the app be taken down.
Dr. Gary Remafedi, director of the Youth and AIDS Projects and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, fired off a letter to Apple about the app, which was put on the App Store by Exodus International. Exodus International says it is a refuge for people looking for help in their journey out of homosexuality. The app, it says, will help cure people of their homosexuality.
Remafedi told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that wrote that the app falsely cites his research as saying the young people are confused about their sexual orientation.
Truth Wins Out, a gay rights group, has also gone to the Internet to get Apple to take down the app. If Apple does not respond, we will take steps to ensure that Apple meets the victims of 'ex-gay' ministries and learns how their lives were destroyed, said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen in a statement. It is astounding that Apple would allow an app from an organization that promotes gay exorcisms, demonizes LGBT people, and is rejected by every respected mental health association in America.
The anti-gay app has received a 4+ rating from Apple, which means it doesn't have objectionable content. However, Truth Wins Out begs to differ, saying Exodus is notorious for using scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. Truth Wins Out has collected 100,000 signatures against the app.
The therapy, offered by Exodus International, has been rejected by every major professional medical organization, says Truth Wins Out. The gay rights organization says by creating an iPhone app, Exodus is targeting youth.
In light of the recent wave of LGBT youth suicides, this tactic is particularly galling as it creates, legitimizes, and fuels the ostracism of LGBT youth by their families, Besen said.
It wouldn't be the first time Apple removed an app for being anti-gay. The Manhattan Declaration created an app, which highlighted its beliefs against gay marriage. After only 7,500 signatures, Truth Wins Out said Apple removed the app, and it must do the same here.
Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its store, yet it gives the green light to an app written by an anti-gay extremist group that targets vulnerable sexual-minority youth with the message that they are 'sinful' and 'perverse,' Truth Wins Out's director of communications and development John Becker said in a statement. This is a double standard that should not stand.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.