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Monday, March 21, 2011

Curing gay-people with religion? Yep, there's an iPhone app for that.

If you read my last post on here, you know that I strongly disagree with people who want to use religion to say that sexual orientation is a choice and, that the choice of heterosexuality is superior to the choice of homosexuality.

I don't know about you, but personally I've never felt that being heterosexual was a choice I made, I was just born that way, so I don't see any reason why being homosexual should be any different. More over, I can't really imagine that I could be cured of my heterosexuality, no matter what anyone told me, so again, why would this be possible just because you happen to be attracted to the same sex. But, as always, we have these fanatic people who are suppose to offer tollerence, love and acceptance through religion, who want to cure the gay-people, turn them straight, or else, cast them out in the name of God.

It's unfortunately not especially surprising that the notorious "ex-gay" organization Exodus International Says God Wants Them to "Cure" Gay People Through iPhones, but it's however deeply disturbing that Apple want to allow these religious fanatics to use their app platform to spread their hateful and, harmful message to already confused teenagers.

The newly released iPhone app is, according to Exodus's website, "designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders." The organization's message is hateful and bigoted. 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. In other words, the iPhone App is nothing but a move in Exodus' dangerous new strategy of targeting vulnerable lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, LGBT, youth, to let them know that there's no place for satanic homosexuality in the world.

The method they use " to "change" the sexual orientation of their clients, is so-called "reparative therapy, which has proved to be not only inaffective, but also to be very damaging to the victims. In light of the recent wave of LGBT youth suicides, this tactic only creates, legitimizes, and fuels the ostracism of LGBT youth by their families.

Apple's app guidelines released in September last year detailed rules on how the company decides what can and cannot be sold through its store: "Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected," the company states.

Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it is giving the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is sinful, immoral and, satanic. Further more, The Exodus website is allowed to boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains "no objectionable content."

This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences. According to a study by Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University, June 2009., published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, LGBT teens who experienced negative feedback from their family were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times as vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs, which is why reparative therapy isn't just bad medicine -- it's also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims. With other words, it's a form of child abuse. More over, the "therapy" violates the ethical codes and positions of virtually every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association.

Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable. The organization, Stand with Truth Wins Out, has a petition up at Change.org, where they demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia and remove the Exodus app.
If you haven't done so already, please add your name to the petition here

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