Gay? There’s an app for that.

Apple has screwed the pooch, and it was inevitable. Apple decided that they would decide what apps would be available in their app store and what apps would not. The moment they did that they avoided a whole set of problems, but created other ones that are a bit more subtle.

A couple of days ago a press release came out announcing an app that can cure you if you are homosexual.

Truth Wins Out today urged people to continue signing its petition to demand that Apple remove an offensive and scientifically bankrupt “ex-gay” iPhone app that was created by Exodus International, a group that believes people can and should “pray away the gay”. Truth Wins Out also released a new video today highlighting why Apple should be socially responsible and remove the app.


Here’s the petition.

Steve Job’s decision to earmark pornography as more evil than this sort of Naziism (there, I Godwined the discussion, got a problem with that?) is … interesting.


  1. #1 Phillip IV
    March 20, 2011

    In Ancient Greece, people believed the liver to be the seat of the human soul. Seeing how Apple has changed since Steve Jobs’ liver transplant, one was almost inclined to believe there was something to that idea…

  2. #2 Rick O'Leary
    March 20, 2011

    Yeah, you NAMED Steve Jobs.

    I don’t know him, although I have “met” him, I don’t think he is personally responsible for the app nor for the reasoning behind the app.

    I think that, with his name being out there, he’s an easy target. But I think you’re way off the line.

  3. #3 Emory K.
    March 20, 2011

    There’s also a supercomputer application called “Cray Away The Gay.”

    The “source” link above goes to the blog, but not to the relevant message itself – It’s currently at the top of the blog, but it’ll get buried eventually, so here’s the permalink to this story:

  4. #4 David
    March 20, 2011

    Asking Apple to remove the offensive app just buys into the Apple model of benevolent dictator.

    Why not just start programming a handful of gay-friendly apps? they’ve already got GayCities and BoyAhoy. Bring more turtles!!!!! How about a Gaydar app (plot distance to other iphones running the same app), or an app that plots your distance to the nearest place to get gay-married, or an app that downloads news about the newest peccadillos (damn I love that word) of right-wing anti-gay leaders.

    Go straight for the throat. Somebody should write an app urging straight christians to become gay.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    March 20, 2011

    Rick, Steve Jobs is very much responsible for the policy decision to categorically allow vs deny apps access to the app store. There is no doubt whatsoever about that, it is well known.

    I doubt very much that he has the kind of micro-involvement one would require to allow or disallow a specific app.

    My complaint is that the Jobs policy did not specify, apparently, no anti-gay apps, or if it did, that policy was not implemented.

    Asking Apple to remove the offensive app just buys into the Apple model of benevolent dictator.

    Straw falsehood man! Apple policy is already in place: No offensive, by a standard they set. They are being asked to include anti-gay apps as offensive.

    Does anyone know? Are there gay-friendly apps? If so, have they been allowed/disallowed by Android vs. Apple store (for instance)? David, you are right that this sort of context would be important in understanding wht is going on here

  6. #6 Ken
    March 20, 2011

    Having a policy that considers female nipples to be offensive but gay bashing to not be offensive is moronic. I’m not sure it’s even a good example of the pitfalls of app censorship, yet the reality of the situation demonstrates that it is. Hard to believe.

    @David: Wouldn’t it be cool if there were so many gay-friendly apps that Apple ended up having to create their own category for them? Imagine the blood-pressure levels of all the fundies going up every time they visited the app store; especially if we could keep the apps in the top ten all of the time.

  7. #7 David
    March 20, 2011

    I found GayCities and BoyAhoy by the simple step of going to the App Store and entering “gay.” There are about a half-dozen similar apps there.

    Ken, it would be cool indeed. That’s my whole point. Don’t respond to somebody else putting up an app you don’t like by whining to Apple – respond by flooding the App store with gay-friendly apps. The more outrageous, the better.

  8. #8 lylebot
    March 20, 2011

    “Are there any gay-friendly apps?” Seriously? Do you not know any gay men with iPhones?

    At any rate, I don’t really get your point here. If the app store was completely open, this anti-gay app would still be there, alongside all the gay-friendly ones that are there too. What would be any different?

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    March 20, 2011

    Lylebot: If the app store is open, then its open. If it is closed to some things and not others, then a decision is being made, by default at best but really with a large heap of responsibility, for what is condoned and what is not condoned.

    The question is not whether some asshat wants to make and sell (or buy and use) an app like this. This is really about Apple’s continued preference to exert considerable control over the universe it creates.

    And I have no problem with Apple exerting such control. But when that control leads to implicitly condoning things that I personally view as immoral (gay bashing) then I get to complain. But yes, you are right, the app would exist in a free and open system (as in the internet). And, then, I could still complain about the app, but I could not complain about The Internet allowing the app while The Internet disallows some other thing.

    This is all about sleeping in the bed one makes.

  10. #10 mad.casual
    March 21, 2011

    Offensive? Scientifically bankrupt? Gay bashing? A petition? WTF?

    1. Screw the idea that it’s offensive. Red Foxx, Andrew Dice Clay, Roseanne Bar, Howard Stern, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Seth Green, Seth McFarlane………the list of people who are legally free to speak and be uber-offensive (and occasionally funny too) is enormous.Is it being forced onto iPhones, gay-users, or…anyone? Matter of fact, don’t we all have some sort of right that allows people to practice what they believe and say what they feel?

    2. Homosexuality and sexuality in general are pretty unscientific to begin with, maybe robots could observe human sex and remain objective, but then they’d deem it pointless and ban it all. At least religion has a goal of making life purposeful. You know, the ‘Should we do this?’ part that comes after science has answered the ‘Can we do this?’ part.

    3. Since when is ‘bashing’ anything illegal? Unless the app finds the nearest homosexual to be stoned to death, it’s hardly doing anything wrong. I have trouble seeing how you exclude someone from thinking homosexuality can be cured while including people who think homosexuality is a good or beneficial thing so long as no one’s ‘hatred’ or ‘pride’ gets out of hand.

    I hope Apple sees the petition, says, “Wow, that’s a lot of signatures.”, and throws it in the garbage.

    There are three things which the Gentleman guards against, when young, he should guard against lust (desire for sex); when strong, he should guard against strife (desire for attack), when old ,he should guard against covetousness (desire for matter). -Confucius

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    March 21, 2011


    1) This issue is utterly unrelated to protected or “free” speech, or the first amendment. Nice try, but you have that wrong.

    2) What does science, sexuality, and your lack of understanding that there is a science of sexuality, or any actual science of sexuality have to do with a blog post about ipods?

    3) Are we talking about law here? I don’t think so.

    Confucius sounds like a bit of a bore.

  12. #12 Cheap Ipod Classic
    October 22, 2011

    I think that, with his name being out there, he’s an easy target. But I think you’re way off the line.