back to article Apple 'gay-cure' app severely slapped

Apple is today accused of anti-gay discrimination, following the release of an iPhone app that aims to help people find “freedom from homosexuality”. A petition has been launched by Truth Wins Out, which describes itself as a non-profit organisation that fights anti-gay religious extremism on the website, asking …


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  1. Leona A

    This should be a no brainer

    Remove the app. Apple should be neutral, as the article states, they would not be allowed to include a Racist related App, so the same should be for this. I'm sure this would be breaking the law in the UK under the new Equalises law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I do not condone the app, inf act I have signed the petition for it's removal.

      But, this does raise an interesting conundrum.

      If Apple are neutral, then they should not censor anything, and let the purchasing populace decide, objectionable apps would have few downloads, and fall off...

      Personally, I hope it's removed, but vendor neutrality means they should not bend to one argument's wishes.

      AC, for obvious reasons.

      1. Aaron Em

        Misunderstanding of 'neutral'

        They appear to censor in an attempt to prevent the App Store from becoming a political or religious battleground, and presumably also with an eye toward avoiding things that'd piss off their bigger markets -- and I would wager quite a large sum of money indeed that there are far more gay people out there with iPhones than there are fundies.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        neutral when it suits them

        Apple are not neutral, and there is plenty of selective censoring on the App store. Gay themed picture apps get removed, but there are plenty of similar apps with female flesh on show, boob jiggling and strip games.

        1. ratfox


          I think you will find out that these apps are few and far between, as they are rarely let through by the Apple thought police.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      no-brainers just don't 'get' freedom

      How dare those intolerant straight-hating bigots deny others the freedom to consume educational material of their choosing. No one is being forced to use or subsidise this app, they choose to download it of their own free will. If you don't like it, don't download it. Simple.

      In countenance, pro-homosexual lifestyle books are being peddled to impressionable young school children. As tax payers have to pay for this, and their children are forced to read this propaganda, they have a moral case for opposing it.

      1. Arctic fox

        RE no-brainers just don't 'get' freedom

        You appear to have got off at the wrong stop old chap. The Daily Heil is just down the road on your right.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        because I have to

        It didn't seem like this was in jest...

        You might want to include the title of one of these books, since I can't imagine some kid reading about how Jane should really try a little rug munching at recess or how Dick should take a litle from behind in the janitor's closet. I seem to remember these as being the 'I have 2 mommies' or '2 daddies' type. Seriously... include a real title of a book that a school uses so I can see for myself because I'm doubting your sincerity. Maybe you could argue that since most people in the country are white, that other colours shouldn't be shown. Woudn't want some white girl thinking it was o.k. to be with a black guy.

        Homosexuality is genetic, which means I also wouldn't classify this app. as being remotely educational as you infer. Trying to convice someone, that they really aren't who they are, is pretty cruel. Gayness, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Doesn't mean it's a good thing, just a neutral thing that doesn't matter.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I am not buying anything more from iTunes

    As long as Apple makes this offensive "app" available, I will not be buying anything more from iTunes or any other Apple product or Apple licensed accessory.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Usually when people spout catagoric statements like this, they are usually bluffing.

      In terms of stickability it's right up there with New Year's resolutions...

      1. bubba-bear

        Quite simple, actually

        It really is quite simple; I use a Touch that I got for xmas, and it is the only Apple product that I have owned since I had a 2e. I also have a 4.3 inch Android tablet. I have bought several apps and a few songs for the Touch. I have no pressing need need to buy any more apps or music for the Touch. It is no hardship at all for me to not buy anything Apple.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Nah, I won't buy anything either

        But then I didn't have any plans to buy any Apple-related products in the near future anyway, so it's not exactly a 'lost sale'.

        That said, Apple are probably on rather dodgy legal grounds here, as discrimination against homosexuals is illegal. They control the Apple App Store and have publicly stated that they consider that this application contains no objectionable material, that certainly implies that they agree with the material.

        Which isn't a great place to be.

  3. Tigra 07

    Reparative Therapy...

    Also known as conversion therapy and brainwashing would fall under human rights laws to be illegal and tantamount to torture.

    It also has no scientific evidence to work and has an unacceptably high rate of depression and suicide in people who experience it, exactly why it was banned by British and American medical associations.

    Exodus International encourages rape in Africa to cure lesbians with Aid money and their clergy who travel there so their moral compasses are as bad as those paedophile priests.

    Apple would do well to remove the app before this becomes a real headache for them.

    1. Aaron Em

      Moral compass: worse in fact

      I don't believe I have yet encountered a child-molesting priest who tried to claim that what he was doing was not merely okay, but actively what God wanted him to do.

      1. RichyS
        Thumb Down


        Fortunately I've not encountered any child molesting priests. But then I'm not Catholic...

      2. Boring Bob


        And how many priests have you discussed this matter with then?

  4. mrh2

    Apple detractors also have to decide...

    ...because many of the people who slam Apple's tight control will no doubt try having it both ways by bashing them for allowing this app through.

    If this were Android marketplace - apparently the 'better', 'freer' model - those unhappy about this app wouldn't have a snowball's chance of getting it removed.

    1. Aaron Em

      No contradiction

      Better if they didn't censor at all, but if they're going to do it, then they need to do it even-handedly.

      1. Graham Marsden

        Would the American Moral Minority...

        ... consider an App saying that we can "cure" extremist Christians of their bigotry to be acceptable?

        I doubt it!

        1. Arctic fox
          Thumb Up

          @Graham Marsden

          Good point. One can just imagine their reaction to being told that their religious orientation is a disease and that impressionable young children should not be allowed to read the bible on the grounds that it "promotes" this degenerate lifestyle.

        2. zanto

          bring it on

          not american, but as a christian, I see hate, disdain and insults against my religion all the time. one just learns to let barking dogs bark, or in this case down vote your posts. no big deal.

          having said that, any thing that incites hate should be censored, the world has enough problems as is.

          1. Robert Simpson

            "any thing that incites hate should be censored"

            let's censor the bible and quran then.

            if you don't think these books incite hatred you haven't read them.

  5. Gaz_M4

    The Register has a sense of humour!

    Got to admire the editorial staff for placing this 'gay-cure' item next to RIM, Woman fingers ex and Yahoo! To! Offload! Not to mention the nude photo actress. Nice one. LOL

    1. dssf

      Will be funny, if on judgement day, "God" says,


  6. Anonymous Coward

    As a Pastafarian...

    ...I'm strongly opposed to people and fish co-existing.

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.

    All hail his noodley apendages..

    1. spegru
      Thumb Down

      obviously written

      by someone who knows nothing about religion except what he or she reads in the tabloids

      1. Robert Simpson

        "by someone who knows nothing about religion except what he or she reads in the tabloids"

        or by someone who has actually studied what people believe in and what people have done to each other for not having the same views on imaginary friends...

    2. Old Handle

      I respectfully disagree

      Government can also accomplish that quite well.

    3. foo_bar_baz
      Thumb Down

      Yes, it's always religion

      Or whatever your favourite scapegoat happens to be. Politicians, government, people from country X, people not from country X, whatever. I thought freedom and democracy are the cause of all evil.

      You went wrong the moment you said "good people" and "evil people". You'd probably make a good fundamentalist religious type, since things are so clear cut. In fact, one could conclude you're probably just the type of prescriptive know-better "good guy" who ends up causing bad things because you "know better".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Credit Where it is due.

      I should have posted the above quote by steven weinberg with a reference.

      So sorry its not a tabliod source.

      Good people do good things with or without religion.

      Bad people will do bad things with or without religion.

      Good people do bad things in the name of religion.

      From the Crusades to the Taliban, the list is huge...

      1. Shakje

        My personal view would be

        for the really big things (like wars n ting) you can't blame the ideals of religion, but I think it's undeniable that religion enables such actions to be more devastating. For instance, the Crusades were clearly an effort by the Pope to not only make a bit of money but also to unite the warring factions in Europe. The way it was done was sickening, but at its core it was more a power and money thing. The problem I have is this, if it wasn't for the religious reasoning behind it would anywhere near as many people died? Or would the people encountered have been treated anywhere as badly?

        Personally my problems with religion lie with its more insidious actions. The indoctrination of children, the criminal negligence of preaching against protection to a country ravaged by AIDS, its ability to influence country politics, or the suppression of women, or how about just the plain violence that's ok because it was done in the name of some beardy? Bashing babies' heads out on rocks, ethnic cleansing, and the treatment of women in captured towns. Sorry, no thanks, I'm not in the business of accepting that something is all right because it's 'religious'.

        Every day that I make any effort to find out something new about religion (it still interests me, even though I am more than happy and secure in my 'beliefs') I get more saddened by how easily it pervades everyday life. I really don't bear a grudge against anyone that wants to be religious, but that doesn't mean I'll accept hatred just because it's 'what they believe'.

        Apologies for rambling shouty thing.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Over-generalisation in the last sentence of this article?

    I'm an atheist, so forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought a lot of Christians would also be offended by this app?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      They should be offended

      Good Christians should be offended, but Christians will seldom say anything against other Christians. An exception is that the Christians that are against gays will claim that certain other Christians are not really Christians.

      1. David 141

        Censor those who would censor.

        Tolerance of intolerance should not be tolerated. Yes that's a contradiction; and it also implies censorship, and yes it is essentially the ends justifying the means,

        Because left to itself intolerance will breed further intolerance, and ultimately, violence, and the voices of tolerance will be drowned in the cries for blood and vengeance. That is why intolerance needs to be eradicated. Like an infectious disease it needs to be stopped even when this does infringe on personal rights sometimes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      This will be highly offensive the the vast majority of Christians that I know, myself included. The problem is that there are a minority of very shouty people who use their religion to justify their bigotry, they tend to be the ones getting onto the news because it's not news to say "Today, millions of Christians weren't offended by homosexuality" However "Today a My Homophobic Asshole said that homosexuality is an abomination and people should be educated out of it" tends to make a headline.

      Very disappointed in apple here...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re AC 1548

        That should read "a Mr Homophobic Asshole" - otherwise it sounds just deeply odd... Bit of a typo there...

    3. TelePom


      A lot of the gay ones will be, certainly.

  8. Mectron


    1. Force Apple remove the app

    2. Fine Apple at least one billion for puting a hainous app on itune

    3. Jail. the creator for the app for LIFE for CRIME AGAIN HUMANITY

    4. Force Apple to remove ALL religious based app from itune

    1. Aaron Em

      I know it's Friday, but... it really the thing to start quite *this* early, old chap?

      1. corrodedmonkee


        If his days is anything like mine, he's still feeling Paddies day.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I trust

      You have polished your jackboots to an extreme shine ready for a night out at the Dog and Swaztika?

      Coat please, black and leather I feel

    3. Syntax Error

      New Censorship

      Bigot. Its a free world man!!

    4. RichyS


      5. Learn to write comprehensible English.

    5. bubba-bear

      unfortunately it won't happen

      That is a great idea, but unfortunately it won't happen.

    6. Ian Yates
      Thumb Down

      Not So Simple

      Using discrimination to fight discrimination is entirely the wrong way to solve anything.

      If you're confused, "remove ALL religious based app" is discrimination.

      The correct response (IMHO) is to remove apps that promote extreme/negative views of others (this includes anti-religious) and let the market decide about the rest.

      You can't spout equality on one side will removing it on the other. As with democracy and free speech, if you want equality, you have to be prepared to give it to others first.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No, no

          See my earlier post.

          You're double smugging your previous error?

  9. Fuh Quit

    The Hallowed Walled Garden

    It makes me laugh that crap like this gets through the strict vetting procedures that Apple has for the appstore......oh wait a minute......

    Also, I laugh even more at this app. Why? If I was gay, I would not be downloading it. As I am not, I won't be downloading it.

    Actually, due to the "success" of the appstore, I don't download anything as I can't find shit. The signal-to-noise ratio means that, for me, the Apple appstore has become a victim of its own success.

    Now if it was a Freedom from Beer app, that just might get me going :-)

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      And besides....

      There are people who genuinely want to be "cured". Although most people (myself included) find the term "cure" both offensive and impossible, why stand in their way of making their own decisions?

      The only valid argument against this app should be that it gives advice that has been shown to cause mental health problems.

      IE: people should be free to look for a "cure" if they really, truly want, but at the same time, snake oil merchants should be closed down.

  10. Christoph

    Their god got it wrong?

    "upholds heterosexuality as God’s creative intent for humanity, and subsequently views homosexual expression as outside of God’s will".

    A large proportion of humans are homosexual. This also happens in many other animals. It's not in any way 'unnatural', it happens in all cultures and all places and in many species.

    If their god intended humans to be entirely and exclusively heterosexual but created them as they actually are, in part homosexual, then that would imply that their god, according to their own statement, is grossly professionally incompetent.

    1. ian 22



      Similar to "doing God's work" implies he's a workshy deity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Here, have another +1.

        It's an interesting paradox that many religious fanatics fail to grasp. They typically view $deity as being perfect and certain people as doing things "against $deity's will". But if $deity is perfect, why did he create "imperfect" humans? If $deity meant to create "imperfect" humans then being "imperfect" cannot be against $deity's will. If $deity did not mean to create "imperfect" humans then $deity cannot be perfect. In both cases, the religious fanatics' whole house of cards falls down.

        Oh, and for those religious fanatics that don't think $deity is perfect, they must therefore accept the fact that it is not possible to determine what $deity meant to do and moreover that they may in fact be the ones who are "imperfect".

        Of course, religion is usually just used by fanatics as an excuse to force their views upon others.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Animal homosexuality...

      The problem with using animal homosexuality as a justification is that homosexuality occurs differently in every species.

      "Lesbian" albatrosses do a lot of "couple" preening as they tend their nests, but have yet to be observed in any attempt at copulation. But they have been seen to mate with males (males who have other female partners) in order to be fertilised and lay eggs.

      "Gay" penguins have generally turned out to be more "bisexual".

      Male dolphins appear to use sexual behaviour with males as a bullying tactic when protecting territory. Or maybe they can't tell whether a "foreigner" is male of female.

      The bonobo use genital contact as a social behaviour -- no climax, so behaviourologists don't generally consider it sexual.

    3. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Re: Their god got it wrong?

      I believe the real argument here is that there is a platonic ideal (arbitrary or otherwise, what is 'good' anyway? But that's another philosophical argument in itself) that a Christian should strive to.

      The world is not ideal. We should come to terms with it.

      In any case, I disagree that a large proportion of humans are homosexual, and that by far and average heterosexuality is the norm (hereagain, what do you mean by a 'large proportion').

      Nurture or nature - I do not think anyone will ever get to the bottom of it but I believe sexual preference, like personality, is by far too deeply ingrained sometimes to consider changing without dire consequence.

      Personally, I stand on the fence and try not to judge. I personally find homosexual activity and all that goes with it ... to put it politely, undesirable, but so do I find other non-homosexual lifestyles that some of my other non-gay friends undesirable or worse. But that's my right to having my own opinion.

      I find it extremely irritating when other people (be they gay or ultra right christian / muslim/ jedi extremists ) trying to flaunt their lifestyle in my face and expect me to partake of it.

      Let's just try and get on and be nice to one another. Be considerate. If you are of one persuasion, just be considerate of others who may not be.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Their god got it wrong?

        I don't think anyone expects you to partake of what they're doing, dear. But I dunno, maybe you're just that hot.

      2. bubba-bear

        Orientation, not preference

        Being gay is a sexual orientation, not a sexual preference. If you are straight and believe that being gay is a preference, try gay sex and then tell me whether you think that straight sex is a preference or orientation.

      3. Tigra 07

        RE:sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        Believe me, the gay community doesn't need your empathy.

        We'll exist as we always have whether you approve or not.

        And when the "flaunting your lifestyle" argument is used i have just one point to make:

        Nuts - flaunts the hetero lifestyle and rams it down our throats.

        Page 3 - same

        Eastenders - same

        Corrie - same

        Most things not gay - same.

        For this i will fail you, good day

  11. Tigra 07
    Thumb Up

    As of 15:27 there's 20,000 now...

    It's less than 2 hours since this article was made and it just hit 20,000 signatures, it's spreading faster now and gathering a lot more support.

    The longer Apple leaves it the worse it'll look now.

    1. Danny 14


      like apple gives a shit. They'll remove it if it doesnt sell well in the marketplace. 30% is still good money.

  12. Lars Petersson

    I'm timing this...

    To see how long it'll be before the app is removed...

  13. Demosthenese

    I'm offended by this app but ...

    I have no absolute right to go through life unoffended by other people's views. I am more offended by those who wish to suppress the views of others. The tyranny of the majority is tyranny non the less.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Three times a ladypart.

        The tyranny of the gay majority, is it?

        How about the tyranny of having your face smashed in because you're a man holding a man's hand.

        Try speaking out against the violence with as much passion as you do for your unworkable philosophical absolutes.

    2. Graham Marsden


      You miss the point, it is not simply that this App is "offensive" and it is not that those who object to this App are simply trying to "suppress the views of others", they are objecting to the fact that it spreads malicious falsehoods about gay people with the implication that being homosexual is an "illness" that can be "cured" by techniques that are dangerously close to brainwashing.

      This App goes way beyond expressing a viewpoint and into highly dangerous and irresponsible lies which may well have resulted in the suicides of some of its victims.

    3. pawn3d

      That's exactly what I've been saying all along.

      Where the gays once fought for free speech, they are now trying to silence others?

      This whole "we can be gay and you have to shut up" thing is getting out of hand. Freedom of speech goes both ways.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fought for free speech?

        More the freedom to fuck.

        Have "the gays" ever had any comment to make on your bedroom habits? No? So "shut up".

      2. Tigra 07

        RE: pawn3d

        Freedom of speech doesn't cover brainwashing

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apples are not the only fruit

    I think Apple court this kind of controversy because it clouds people's judgement over wider issues relating to their products.

    They ban other web browsers and remove some apps from their web shop at the drop of the hat, and then people accuse them of being oppressive, shutting out opposition and being monopolistic.

    So then they let the world know that apps like this gay thing exist to project the illusion of Apple being a very open, accommodating company who aren't scared of competition and don't need to be in control of their users.

    The truth is that which browser you use on your iPhondle or FoldleSlab really does matter to Apple, whereas some random app that claims to 'cure' being gay does not, any more than an app to tell your horoscope or tell you what to eat. Apple might argue that there are other apps just as freely available to 'balance' things, such as that one that locates other gays in your area (or so I saw on Top Gear with Stephen Fry) but you won't find them arguing that other web browsers merely 'balances' the choice of Safari because controlling the browser people use gives you control over them. An app that cures being gay does not.

    So the bottom line is, this issue is nothing to do with immoral iApps, it's about distracting you from the real issue of buying into an effectively closed platform.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Erm, no

    "Unfortunately for Apple, it may shortly have to chose between offending its Christian base and its gay base"

    No it doesn't, it just has to worry about offending the fundamentalist nutjob "Christians" who promote this kind of crap. The majority of Christians - who don't use their religion as a cover for their own hateful prejudice - will be as offended by this app's presence on the store as non-Christians. A pro-gay decision would fulfil the needs of many Christians (some of whom are - shock! - openly gay).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      But your magic book says that being gay is a sin. I'm not sure how you can actually call yourself a christian if your A-Z is so wrong?

      1. Jane Fae

        oh no it doesn't...

        the real prob is that many fundamentalists go back to the Old Testament for justification...and there's loads of nastiness in there.

        However, the main point of being Christian, as i learnt it, ws compassion and acceptance. And an over-turning of a load of the OT bollocks.

        The key teaching is the bit where Jesus specifically picks out the old doctrine of "an eye for an eye" and proclaims it dead, urging people to "turn the other cheek".

        I did a piece not that long back (for the Catholic Herald) looking at these sort of issues . Sadly it is not online. However, i spoke to one of the UK's foremost theologians and he had very little to say on the subject that most people would consider "hateful".

        He was working with exactly the same doctrine as the fundies...but came to some very different conclusions.

        Which i think is the point others on this thread have made: being christian does not inevitably mean buying in to the fundy approach.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Thanks, Jane

          You saved me the bother and far more eloquently that I could manage.

  16. stranger

    sorry mates, I have to disagree

    I understand that people find this application to be offensive, but removing it without any legal ground is not the right way ahead. Supporting free speech means allowing for things that you dislike or find offensive to exist. Supporting free speech means that there is no one moral to be above the others and attempt to rule them.

    if is is legal for the application to exist, then it should exist. Demanding for it to be remove for no other reason then the fact that it offended you is an anti-free speech move.

    that been said, Apple can remove or allow applications in its store as it sees fit. I do recall them removing a game because it involved killing baby seals! Why was that game removed and this application allowed?

    ya, I'll go away now

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yeah, Apple can do whatever they want in their app store, whether that is supporting gays people or preventing seals from dancing all night long.

      If they are claiming to be "tolerant" while doing it, it is an insult to intelligence everywhere. It is hypocritical and is deplorable. We'll see how it plays out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Let's assume you mean the US model of free speech. The first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech". Where does it say anything about the relationship between private citizens and private companies?

      Of course, Congress has made laws that abridge free speech. If the issue really bothers you, go badger your local member of Congress about obscenity laws (amongst other things) and leave the internet alone.

      You have cast your entire argument along legal lines, and I'm not really sure why. Steve Jobs doesn't run the country quite yet, so your recourse to legality is somewhat baffling.

      I'm all for people being as offensive as they damn well please. I'm all for people shutting the fuck up when called on it too. You'll find life's a balancing act like that.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @stranger - nonsense

      Apple dont need a legal basis to remove an app. Just like a manager of a bar or shop doesn't need a legal basis to remove or ban anyone from their premises.

      Wake up fool.

  17. Ally J

    Tricky area

    I think Apple have corporately landed themselves in the sh!t with this by being so prissy about what they will and won't 'approve'. If they'd adopted a more 'hands-off' approach, this wouldn't be a problem for them at all.

    It sounds like an objectionable app, but then I'm sure there are plenty of other apps available that I wouldn't like. Apple's silliness has led them into this mess - I'm looking forward to the fancy footwork they'll use to get themselves out of it while keeping 'the gays' and 'the mad God-botherers' happy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "outside of God’s will"

    There was a time that would get you burnt for heresy for making a statement like that.

  19. Wang N Staines


    Is this available on Android?

  20. skeptical i

    As it contains false and possibly damaging information, it should be removed, no?

    Unless this app is clearly stamped "satire" or "humor, not at all to be taken seriously" I would think the Apple people would have a modicum of responsibility to ensure that what is available is at least safe for consumption.

    Since more than one professional medical association (real deal ones, not preachers in white lab coats) has declared reparative therapy ("pray the gay away") to be somewhere between damaging and outright hooey, these apps should be removed accordingly. (Are there apps that endorse the idea of bloodletting in order to properly "balance the humors"? Didn't think so.)

    Side note: I'm an atheist with Pastafarian leanings, but not all Christians (or Muslims or Jews or ... ) are bigots -- there are many who embrace and celebrate ALL of their god's children just as their god made 'em.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Horoscopes have no basis in fact and can be damaging as well. Certainly you support a ban on those as well then?

      Oh and homeopathic medicine isn't supported by medical professionals, so all web sites listing information on them should be blocked through the web browser and all related apps should be banned.

      Oh and herbal supplements are often not endorsed by the medical associations, so any apps for purchasing herbal remedies or getting information about them should be banned.

      See how this works? Freedom and tolerance means people who don't agree with you aren't harassed by you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        In Britain there is something called the sales of goods act. It stakes that things being sold should be able to 'do what it says on the tin'. ie no making false statements in your advertising.

        All the above things in your comment are complete woo woo/lies that should be illegal to advertise. Unfortunatley the rest of the UK legal system is a pile of poo, so negates the good parts of our laws.

        I think this app is appalling, but wouldn't dream of banning it - because it's a freedom of speech issue for me. Apple can obviously do whatever they want since it's their market.

        There is a difference between freedom of speech and false advertising.

  21. corestore

    If the App Store...

    ...wasn't a bloody walled garden under the iron control of Apple, they wouldn't HAVE to make judgement calls on stuff like this. If ye flee wi the craws ye mun hoot wi the owls, as we say in Scotland...


    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. corestore

        As you might possibly have guessed from the language...

        ... the phrase is a lot older than thee or me.


  22. theSensibleGeek

    Freedom of Expression

    That's the thing about freedom - other people have it too.

    You may not agree with what someone else says, but that doesn't revoke their right to say it. If I want my right to dissent to remain intact, I must defend someone else's right to say inflammatory, bigoted things because they have a RIGHT to both have and express that opinion. I have the right to despise them for it, but I do not have the right to duct tape their mouth shut.

    1. L1feless

      well said

      ....I have to agree with you.

      There is a blurb from one of my favorite bands which I think applies here. "The argument against censorship is clear. No government official should be permitted to dictate what ideas or beliefs we are entitled to hear or believe. Both good and evil should be averted by more speech and not enforced silence."

      Replace the words 'government official' with 'corporation'. That statement could directly apply here. At the end of the day people can determine what they believe in. At the end of the day those who disagree with this app in the app store can develop a new app which criticizes this religious organization for its views. At the end of the day I may not agree with either party but I have the up-most respect for their individual abilities to speak their minds.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Freedoms from and freedoms to.

      I feel a few people here are using their misinformed appeals to "free speech" as a cover action for some opinions they wish they were still able to publicly express:

      As ever, I'm off to exercise my right to call your wife / mother / sister a whore at every opportunity. How long before you feel the need to constrain that right ... ?

    3. corestore

      Yes, but...

      This is Apple's walled garden; you have NO right to freedom of expression there, any more than you have the right to conduct animal sacrifice in MY garden. It's private property and they can set what rules they like.


  23. TonyHoyle

    Except it's the appstore

    It's not a free speech argument. Apple aren't the government and aren't bound by any free speech laws that may be in your country.

    It's a totally controlled environment. Apple approve *everything* that goes on there and they say what opinions you can and can't express. They have proved in the past that they're not afraid to remove things that they take a dislike to for any reason they like.

    In that environment by putting an app like that on Apple are explicitly saying they approve of it. If they *didn't* want to say that then they shouldn't have approved it in the first place.

  24. L1feless

    Clear direction

    The real issue is that all apps which have made it to the App store meet the minimum requirements from Apple to make it to market. The real issue is the moral obligations of Apple. What moral stances do they wish to take? More importantly they will need to make those moral stances very clear and document them. If you're going to have a closed store/ app environment then great but just don't have fly -by-night rules...the community just wont stand for it.

  25. Blue eyed boy


    Have this TWO outfit got a comparable app to offer that would put the opposite POV? If so then the answer's easy, host both of them and let the user decide.

  26. Adus

    You have no free speech on the app store

    You don't have free speech protection from Apple, free speech laws concern government.

    Apple are perfectly allowed to censor whatever they want and quite rightly so, it's the same right The Reg and every other company uses when they delete offensive or unhelpful comments.

    Apple aren't claiming to be free speech advocates, it really surprises me that they let this through, I think that most people would find this offensive and if I were Apple I'd be removing it fairly quickly.

    You *do* have the right to be offended by other peoples views, the government *does not* have the right to silence them, but private companies and individuals are quite within their rights to stop you using their services if they are offended.

    1. L1feless


      based on what criteria? And how many people/ which people must be offended by the application to have it removed? I agree that corporations are allowed to censor anything they see fit however they must operate within the constraints of the law as well as within the constraints of what the general public will tolerate. The latter is obviously the more difficult to define.

      The fact that this application made it through in the first place doesn't surprise me in the slightest. So long as it meets the basic app requirements Apple will let it through. As I mentioned above Apple needs to be very clear to those developing applications what is allowed into the app store and what isn't.

  27. Andy Long 1
    Jobs Horns

    I'm no Apple fan

    And as much as some people would like to say that people like me would criticise Apple either way, to me there is a distinct correct course of action here (banning the app) and I'm not quite so blinkered as to stop myself from giving them credit if they did.

  28. The Unexpected Bill

    Why does it matter?

    I realize that I might come to regret making this post, but I'm somehow driven to climb up onto my obnoxious opinions soapbox and extense once again. You have been warned. :-)

    I just don't get why someone's sexual orientation and preference matters the way it seems to. (Although, thankfully, it seems to be mattering a lot less than it used to.) Are people really so sad as to care who you spend your life and satisfy whatever intimate desires you might have with?

    The question is mostly rhetorical, but I've been asking it to myself for years and have yet to find a really good answer. (In other words, this isn't your invitation to flame and be rude.)

    Okay, there. I said it. (And now that I have: I'm not in a relationship, not looking, probably never will be, have no real desire to be and this has more to do with a great desire to do "my own thing" than anything else. I haven't given much thought to my own orientation, though I know that I'm not into women at all. I have a very independent mindset and am not good at pleasing other people unless I want to be.)

  29. Dana W
    Jobs Horns

    No. Just no.

    Lesbian household. Five Macs, three iPods, two iPhones.

    I already know my Macs will run Linux, one already is. If this app is still here in July our new phones will be Droids, Our OS will be Linux, and at its "end of life" the new hardware in our house will NOT bear an Apple logo.

    Its time for The Steve to censor something that deserves it for a change!

    I've said nothing will make me stop using Apple. Well this might.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      In the grand scheme of things this may seem to some people as not important but to me it clearly marks the moment when the fact that Apple/Jobs "has lost it" is undeniable. There are arguments for and against, but leadership is that elusive quality of making controversial decisions that turn out to be more right than wrong. Steve used to have it, no more.

      With this decision Apple is definitely a certified "not cool" company, just another mega-corporation with cheesy PR spin and toxic waste leaks in the walled garden. Make no mistake, as some other commentators have pointed out, this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Apple are in the business of selling a nice walled garden, but they have allowed people in with stinking feet and the walled garden is not nice any more. The old Steve would have known it right away. Apple is now in decline. I would sell my shares while the price is still high.

  30. Michael C

    never through I'de see it

    ...a day when Apple gets chastised for NOT censoring an app arbitrarily.

    Look, it may not be moral, it may not be right, but Apple has a list of rules, every app rejected his violated them, and this one does not, so it got approved.

    Does the phrase "the content you are about to see has no relation to the views of this company, its executors, or its staff" have no meaning anymore? Are you really asking Apple to become your moral compass? Is it even their job?

    this app breaks no laws (that I'm aware of in the USA), and it breaks non of apple's code rules (one iof which, SOUNDS moral, no porn, but that's actually based on TAX and local/state regulations covering the distribution of pornography and is NOT a moral standing).

  31. Alan 43

    How can an app for gay people be anti-gay?

    Sorry to rock the boat here - but this app is for gay people that want the app - for gay people that do not want to be gay or are struggling with their feelings. Surely it is up to those people to decide to download it or not and for those gay people happy with themselves to not download it as the app is not aimed at them?

    As to the philosophy that god created us as we are - perhaps - perhaps he also created us with the ability to make our own decisions - the Christian Bible teaches that sin separates us from God and Heaven. You can argue that God knew we were going to sin of course being all knowing. Various different arguments but the central message of the is that sin separates us (gay, straight, black, white,man women) and Jesus bridges the gap.

    1. Mephistro

      This app... a not-so-subtle form of hate speech. It implies that homosexuality is a disease, and as such can be 'cured'. Many western countries have laws against hate speech. Apple can choose between removing the app themselves or waiting for regulators and lawsuits to force them to do it on a country by country basis. My bet is they'll remove it soon.

  32. asdf

    damn Brits

    Take back your religious nut Puritan prudes. The have ruined the USA and frankly its time they go back where they came from.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      We would gladly remove them...

      ... if it wasn't for the fact that a couple of hundred years ago you politely asked us to leave and allow you to run the place yourselves. We could offer you parental advice, but it would be pointless as the necessary respect isn't there any more. Perhaps it's about time the US grew up?

      Mind you, the CofE still has some weight so maybe they should at least comment on how 'christian' these people really are.

  33. Levente Szileszky
    Jobs Horns

    Well, Mr Steve "Freedom From Porn" Jobs, it's time to...

    ...choose your side regardless what your greed dictates.

  34. LaeMing

    Obvious answer

    Allow the app, but make sure a similar app targetet at "curing" people of biggoted religeous beleifs is displayed next to it with equal prominence.

  35. JohnG


    A good way out for Apple might be to get shop users to vote for or against the exclusion of a controversial app. They could then wash their hands of the responsibility of censorship.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    It is still there

    Apple hasn't come to their senses yet.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remove one, remove the other

    Grindr - Gay, bi, & curious guy finder of the same sex.

    1. Keefey


      There are straight versions of the same thing. Grindr is not facilitating hate speech, nor is it brainwashing, advocating a same-sex lifestyle, it's just a tool.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Freedom of speech...

    is totally acceptable and right when the speech being spoken only offends a minority (preferrably religious) community. Anything that goes against the accepted norm is just wrong!

    The people writing this app are unmutual! Unmutual! They must learn to conform!

    They must not be allowed to preload their vile apps onto precious iPhones or force people to install the evil applications.

    There will be many libertarians who would like to ban the Bible apps on there as well (why are liberals always wanting to ban things?) but somehow always manage to stop short of the Koran.

    Anyway, freedom for only the accepted majority isn't freedom, it isn't democracy, it's dangerous.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Take back your religious nut Puritan prudes. The have ruined the USA and frankly its time they go back where they came from."

    Aww c'mon, we forced them out of our country, it's up to you to do the same. Be reasonable, USA was already wrecked - and we did give you George Washington by way of compensation (that one backfired a bit though).

    Anyway, just know that we fully intend on rounding up and exporting the rest of our crazies/fundamentalists/prudes that slipped the net 400 years ago. We feel they'll be more at home in modern day America anyway.

    If you can't take it anymore, come live in England. Dentistry has made huge technological leaps, the food is decent, we rarely suffer natural disasters, the weather isn't always shitty, we have less gross government debt and if you can get uk citizenship you can even have free healthcare. Crucially for you, we're moving further and further away from any sort of religious beliefs - we have no bible belts here!

    Now about this app, I'm not for it. Seems ignorant to me. I reckon that if Apple want to sell and promote this app they ought to be obliged to make Osama Bin Laden's videos as podcasts - both he and this Christian group promote hatred and prejudice.

    Free speech doesn't enter into it btw. Are some people here actually suggesting that a retailer has no control over what they stock? Would a writer of pornography persue Barnes & Noble over free speech if they refused to stock his latest best-selling smut novel next to the new dan brown book, on the grounds of moral objection to the content? Of course not, they would find an appropriate place they could distribute their work among people who are more receptive to their content, in this case probablly an adult bookstore. It's Apple's ball and if they don't want to let you play you can't force them.I just hope they come to their senses on this and shoot the guys who approved it in the first place.

  40. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Market size: gays vs fundies

    Annoying christians could be a good business decision - if they are going to burn iPhones they have to buy then first!

  41. genjin

    Free Speech not an issue here

    This isn't about rights, its about politics.

    The app store is a "publicly" accessible private establishment. The manager of a shop or bar has the right to decide who can enter. If entry is denied based a on a particular criteria (gender, race), there may be scope to mount a legal challenge, but of course this doesn't trump the private property rights of the proprietor in the first (initial) circumstance.

    Acceptance of the app is therefore purely a matter of Apple's mores.

  42. Anonymous Coward


    People on the register are religious?, wow.

  43. pawn3d


    If it wasn't bad enough that Apple censors apps, now they've got YOU the general public joining in- HEY! You're a fascist!

    Last time I checked, this is America- where you're free to say stupid things no matter how dumb they are. You fascists are are trying to take Apple's policy and twist it to benefit your own political agenda.

    The gay community seems to think they are above the constitution. How do you go from fighting for your freedom to trying to take away the rights of others?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Last time I checked ...

      .. this was a UK site on the world wide web talking about a multi-national company with customers located all over the globe. So "shut up".

    2. The Beer Monster

      This is America

      I definitely think that is not America.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "How you go from fighting for your freedom to trying to take away the rights of others?"

      This is laughable from a group who fights to deny peoples' rights on the ground of THEIR OWN religious beliefs.

      1. Tigra 07

        RE: Anonymous Troll

        You weren't born with those beliefs and you've lost no rights compared to us.

        It's not illegal to be straight and can't result in a death sentence for it in any country unlike being gay.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How can an app that discusses homosexuality (I'm presuming that counts as a mature theme) get a 4+ rating in the first place?

    ... and it seems like a collection of bookmarks to web content, they're not allowed either are they?

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. pawn3d
    Thumb Up

    Anti petition petition

    And here's the petition AGAINST the petition that stands for free speech.

    1. Tigra 07

      RE: pawn3d


      FOR app removal - 20,000+ signatures.

      AGAINST app removal and defending freedom of hate speech - 2 signatures.

      You must be really proud to be the minority in this situation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apple isn't listening

        Unfortunately, Apple is ignoring the petition and is facilitating hate speech against gays. I wonder when we will see a "God Hates Fags" app in the iPhone app store.

    2. Tigra 07
      Thumb Down

      RE: pawn3d

      I'll show an update just to show how backwards your last post was:

      FOR removal 80,000+

      AGAINST removal 3.

      No-one agrees with your hateful argument, i read your other posts.

      1. LINCARD1000


        In various other stories that relate to matters of homosexuality, this pawn3d guy shows up with monotonous regularity, if my memory serves me correctly. Vested interest in the subject, much? (him, that is, not you) ;-)

        Haters gonna hate, closet-cases gonna... uh, do whatever closet-cases do.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Double standard bastards

    What about freedom of speech and / or expression?

    the "pro" lobby seems to be free to publish whatever they want.

    Fighting desperately whenever someone tries to stop their publications, claiming free speech and freedom of expression.

    Is it the case then, that when someone has an opposing view, that party is somehow not entitled to same protection using the same arguments just used by the "pro" lobby 5 minutes ago?

    This double standard is what makes me mad!

    I do not care about LGBTs, nor I do not much care about religious nutters, but I am a believer that (adults) should not be prevented from a) expressing views b) accessing views expressed by others

    1. Tigra 07

      RE: AC

      Even if that material tells you white/black people are disgusting and diseased and can pray away their afflictions?

      The only double standard is that you get a say on who we can see and sleep with and we don't get the same option with you.

      That's not equality.

      And besides, you never had to fight for equal rights, you had them and took them away from others (civil rights movement, womens rights movement etc).

      Religion is learned, you're not born religious.

  48. pawn3d


    Hello?!?!? Can I say something?

    1. LINCARD1000
      Thumb Down

      No... cant. Sod off.

  49. Bill Stewart

    Their Arguments are Attacking the Organization instead of the App Itself

    So far, everything I've seen from the organizations attacking the app talks a lot about the organization that's publishing the app, but says exactly nothing about the app itself, and it appears that they're attacking it without having actually seen it.

    That's inappropriate - yes, they have lots of good reasons to dislike the organization, and no reasons to suspect that an application from them _won'_ be something they dislike, but they really ought to look at the application and criticize _it_ before they go calling for its ban.

  50. sail4sea


    What? Someone can't make their own decisions to change something about their lives? If the app can help someone make changes that they themselves want, then what is wrong with that? Do you really think that all homosexuals want to embrace their homosexuality? People think of you differently when you come out to them. It's not that fun to make friends with people and then have them suddenly treat you differently. If the app helps people become straight, then how about letting the person affected by this make the decision to download the app or not.

    Don't ban the app. I will decide for myself if the app is discriminatory. If it is, then I can always delete the app from my phone. Saying that all gay people have to think that the app is discriminatory is just as bad as saying that all African Americans have to vote Democrat. Gay people can decide for themselves if they want to have this app and black people may vote for whomever they like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting first post on El Reg.

      And I'm sure you - and religious groups the world over - would have no problem with a "Hey Kids, Change is Good, So Gay Yourself Up" App.

      The rest of your argument seems to be "we should support homophobia because we already have homophobes". We have paedophiles too ...

      Yeah, that's right. I equated homophobes with paedophiles. Fuck you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surely the problem here is..

      .. that the people they are targetting are being lead to believe that their homosexuality is unwanted, evil, unnatural and if they embrace it they'll burn in the fires of hell.

      If there was no discrimination, and people practiced the love and acceptance they profess to have for everyone, there would be no need for apps like this because it wouldn't matter. Unfortunately, organisations like this are shoring up the notion that people should be demonised by something that is genetic.

      Would it be different if the app taught you how to hide the colour of your skin?

      (And if friends treat you differently after you come out to them, they weren't really friends to begin with, because nothing about you has changed).

  51. Ranguvar

    Bad app? Of course. Keep it in the store? Please.

    I'm bisexual myself, and this sort of drivel being peddled disgusts me.

    However, I wish Apple would remain truly neutral and keep the app on the store.

    I don't want the companies who sell me devices to be my moral overlords, thanks. I can decide for myself what I want and don't want to see/buy.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

  52. Alan 43

    some strange notion

    This is a bit like the Christian foster carers that were rejected by social services recently because of their views despite having loving an caringly given homes to 15 foster kids previously - there is a chronic lack of foster carers, 10,000 are needed in england let alone the rest of the uk. On BBC question time it was a gay atheist that stood up for freedom and liberty and the right og the couple to foster so long as they loved the kid. The Christian Bible sets standards but is balanced with `love thy neighbour` and a teaching of the fact that nobody is perfect, nobody is good enough to get into heaven of themselves and hence the need of a saviour in the form of Christ.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, it's not the same.

      It's not the same. They said to careworkers they could not tell a child they fostered that it was OK to be gay. If a child they had fostered turned out to be gay, then that could create problems for the child, it's discriminatory, and goes against the teachings you mention.

      1. Tigra 07
        Thumb Up

        RE: AC

        Especially since those bigots would have pushed their religious beliefs on those children, that's why they complained.

  53. Alan 43


    and a gay atheist on BBC Question time panel said it was `liberal tyranny`. There are 10,000 foster carers needed in england - well there is one kid still in a care home right now because of silliness - the couple had already fostered 15 kids - but apparently `they are not fit not never were to be foster carers` - silliness in the extreme and the foster kids suffer - oh and they also said they would love the kid no matter what. Just because you disagree with something doesnt mean you hate.

    As to this app - like I said how can it be a hateful bigotted app when it is aimed at gay people? It is gay people and / or people struggling with their sexuality that are going to download it IF THEY WANT TO.

  54. Tin Pot

    Outrage-Cure App

    There will now be an App for Outrage.

    I'm releasing an App, it will help cure people of their daily outrage against whatever it happens to be, and promotes an alternative lifestyle called don't-take-everything-so-bloody-seriously.

    I will of course sue anyone who decries my chosen lifestyle, and sue anyone who incites anti-laissez-faire by objecting to, suing, soap-boxing, etc., anything that _just_isn't_all_that_important_in_the_grand_scheme_of_things.

    Fail, because who really gives a monkeys?

  55. Tigra 07

    Can we have an update?

    Scientist who created the research Exodus is using claims they have distorted it to make their point.

    As of 4:15 the petition has 95,000 signatures, still no response from apple though.

  56. Equitas

    So there we have it .............

    iPhone -- the gay person's mobile of choice, according to Truth Wins Out.

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