FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Contact: Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out
Michael Jones, Change.org
‘Gay Cure’ iPhone App Controversy Goes Viral; 135,000 Sign Petition to Apple as FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC Cover Story
Truth Wins Out petition on Change.org demands Apple remove “Exodus International” app from iTunes; Top researcher blasts “Ex-Gay” app as misrepresenting data
NEW YORK, NY – More than 135,000 people have signed a petition started by Truth Wins Out demanding that Apple remove an offensive iPhone app launched by an organization that attempts to “cure” gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Truth Wins Out launched the petition on Change.org, a leading platform for social change, to highlight the outrage caused by the “Exodus International” app, and is n.w.organizing protests and petition deliveries to Apple stores on Saturday.
“This app is a slap in the face to Apple’s customer base and serves as a platform to spread misinformation and blatant anti-gay bigotry,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out and author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. “We call on Apple to remove this scientifically bankrupt product that causes significant psychological harm to LGBT people worldwide. It is particularly troublesome because the app focuses on exploiting the fears of desperate and vulnerable gay and lesbian youth.”
Eden James, Director of Organizing at Change.org, said that promoting “cures” for LGBT people is not consistent with Apple’s own editorial standards.
“More than 135,000 people have sent a loud and clear message that ‘ex-gay therapy’ has no legitimate place on the Apple platform,” said James. “We’re not sure why Apple has not responded. Apple has been a supporter of LGBT rights in the past and stated that offensive content will not be tolerated by their editorial standards. In fact, Apple removed a similar homophobic application from iTunes a few months ago.”
In November, Apple removed the anti-gay “Manhattan Declaration” app from iTunes, after the LGBT community strongly reacted against it, including more than 7,000 people signing a Change.org petition to Apple. At the time, Apple said in a statement that the app violated its developer guidelines by “being offensive to large groups of people.”
On Monday, a researcher from the University of Minnesota asked Apple to remove Exodus International’s app from its online store because he claimed it grossly distorted his research in an effort to misrepresent LGBT people.
“This message serves as a request to remove the Exodus International application from Apple’s iPhone offerings because the website content is objectionable. It erroneously cites my research (Remafedi 1992) in support of claims that homosexuality can be changed,” University of Minnesota researcher Gary Remafedi wrote in a letter to Apple founder Steve Jobs and Interim CEO Tim Cook.