Apple Drops App that Claims to Cure Homosexuality
(NEW YORK) -- An app that promised users "freedom from homosexuality" has been removed from the Apple App Store, but still remains in Google's Play Store for Android phones and tablets, despite requests to have it removed.
Setting Captives Free, a non-denominational ministry led by Mike Cleveland from Medina, Ohio, says it is committed to ridding people of sin through the teachings of Jesus Christ. In its mobile phone apps and on its website, the organization offers a series of interactive courses and informational materials on fighting temptation and living a sin-free life.
But one course in particular, titled "Door of Hope: Freedom from the Bondage of Homosexuality," last week caught the attention of gay rights and equality group All Out. The 60-day interactive course, which was then available through both the iPhone and Android apps, promises to "teach you to enjoy a newfound relationship with the Lord and how to find freedom from homosexuality."
"Friend, before we discover God's method of freeing us from homosexuality, we must first agree with God on the issue of homosexuality," a passage from the second section of the course reads.
All Out launched a petition May 29 that demanded Apple and Google remove the app from their respective stores.
"Gay 'cures'? There shouldn't be an app for that," All Out posted on its site. "Apple and Google have policies against these kinds of apps but so far this one has escaped their notice. Sign now to tell them to drop this and all other gay 'cure' apps!"
More than 94,000 people have signed the petition so far.
Apple removed the app last week, citing clause 16.1 in its App Store Guidelines, according to a Setting Captives Free representative. "Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected," 16.1 reads. "Apps that are primarily designed to upset or disgust users will be rejected."
Apple wouldn't comment on the removal process or reasoning when reached by ABC News.
Google, on the other hand, has not removed the app. It still appears in the Google Play Store, although only parts of the course are accessible. Google declined to comment on the app when reached by ABC News.
Google has always maintained a more open approach to its app store. Its App Developer Guidelines don't mention "objectionable content" as Apple's does.
Google does have a strict ban, though, on sexually explicit material, bullying and hate speech.
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