Apple Pulls Gay Cure App

The tool touting "freedom from homosexuality" is no longer on iTunes

After almost 150,000 people signed a petition asking that Apple remove the so-called “gay cure” iPhone app by Exodus International, the app is no longer available on iTunes.

According to The Guardian, the controversial app – which had been available for download since Feb. 15 – touted that it could cure homosexuality through prayer.

Exodus International, a Christian group that seeks to “deprogram” gays and lesbians, is among the largest ministry of its kind in the U.S. But it received a mountain of complaints when it launched the app on iTunes after Apple – somewhat surprisingly – approved its sale.

Florida-based Exodus calls homosexuality a “developmental issue and that any individual can experience freedom through the support of caring individuals and the healing power of Jesus Christ.” The app has been described as a resource for men, women, parents, students and ministry leaders to “reconcile their faith with their sexual behavior.”

While Apple has not commented on the decision to drop the app today, it’s not the first time an app was rejected by the company. Last year, Apple also decided to not allow another anti-gay app on iTunes. Despite petitions from conservative supporters, the Manhattan Declaration app – which described homosexuality in a negative light – was swiftly rejected.

In the latest push, opponents drafted a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, saying, “Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a ‘sin that will make your heart sick’ and a ‘counterfeit.’ There is a double standard that needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable.”