An app on Apple's iTunes store from the
“ex-gay” group Exodus International has sparked a petition to
have it removed.
The online petition is sponsored by
Truth Wins Out, a group founded specifically to counter the claims of
“ex-gay” ministries, and has
attracted more than 125,00 signatures.
Truth Wins Out President Wayne Besen
says he's petitioning for the app's removal because Exodus
International's message is harmful.
“Exodus' message is hateful and
bigoted,” Besen wrote on his group's website. “They claim to
offer 'freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ'
and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of
LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called
'reparative therapy' to 'change' the sexual orientation of their
clients, despite the fact that this form of 'therapy' has been
rejected by every major professional medical organization.”
“But reparative therapy isn't just
bad medicine – it's also very damaging to the self-esteem and
mental health of its victims.”
Besen also claims the app specifically
targets vulnerable gay 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
On Friday, Besen announced the group's
next move: “If Apple continues to bury its head in the sand, we
will hold a press conference in front of their offices featuring
sexual and spiritual abuse victims of 'ex-gay' programs.” (A Truth
Wins Out video urging Apple to dump the “ex-gay” app is embedded
in the right panel of this page.)
Last year, Apple
removed an anti-gay app after thousands signed onto a similar online