Over the last six months, I’ve gone from wading my feet in the shallow end of the iOS Development pool to diving in head-first and building an app for distribution in the iTunes App Store. Now that I’m familiar both with the technical side of things as well as the legal side of things, I wanted to make a comment about the latest App Store controversy: The removal of the “Gay Cure” app, developed by Exodus International, from the iTunes App Store.
The app itself is called “Exodus International”, named after the group that created it, and its purpose is to, essentially, make homosexuals into heterosexuals through the bible and their interpretations of their teachings – hence the “Gay Cure” moniker that it has been given, though they claim on their website that they aren’t seeking to “cure” anyone so much as they’re seeking to aggregate the resources on their website through the iPhone app – which essentially seek to cure people of homosexual tendencies. Heh.
I’m not going to rant or rave about the app itself, as I never got to see it before it was pulled from the app store, but from screen captures of the app and from the description of it in the app store and on the Exodus website, it was essentially a data aggregator. That is, it took the data from the Exodus International website and fed it through their iPhone app, likely using a web service of some sort to convert their RSS/XML feeds through to the iPhone. Pretty simple stuff, and very similar to what I’ve been working on. It’s the content of the app and the website that’s disturbing.
The body of their work can be summed up in a single sentence: their own Mission Statement from their website:
“Mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.”
As a person who has many dear friends and even an Aunt in the LGBT community, I’ve heard one prevailing thing from them over the years when we talk about their sexuality: it was never a choice for them to be gay. To come out of the closet, yes, that was a choice – and a big one at that. Never, not once, however, have any of them ever said that they decided to be gay; they always felt that it was right for them.
That’s why, at the very core of my being, I’m offended by groups – religious, political, or otherwise – who feel that they can simply “change” a person’s sexuality through any means. People who are “changed” by these methods have come out later to say that they weren’t really changed, they were simply forced or guilted – be it by themselves or by other influences such as the church – to repress their feelings and “act” straight (some even going so far as to marry a person of the opposite sex and try to live out a “normal, straight” life).
That’s what makes this Exodus International “ministry” so despicable to me: they think they’re doing something good and holy and righteous, but in reality they’re simply trying to force their system of beliefs onto others – and that’s never the right thing to do.
For more information about the Exodus International App, and the controversy surrounding it, I’m going to link to both extremes of the spectrum – The Exodus International website’s “Debunking the Myths…” page about the app, and the TruthWinsOut.org press release about the petition to remove the app from the App Store (which, by the by, had over 150,000 signatures on it).
What are your thoughts about this? Leave some feedback and try to keep the discussions clean and ad hominem free.