Minn. (MN)—a non-profit organization called Exodus International, headquartered in Florida, blogged on about their iPhone application release on March 8th featuring Apple’s rating 4+, criteria used to point out that the smartphone app contains no objectionable material.
Within days and weeks passing, a non-profit advocacy group called Truth Wins Out (TWO) organized a petition via website change.org, an online activism platform for social change started by two former Stanford University students, compiled 148,641 signatures at this specific point in time. The demand by all petitioners was to immediately shut down the application.
University of Minnesota professor and Director of the Youth and AIDS Projects Gary Remafedi was informed on Sunday by LBGT group about the presence of this anti-gay app and its misleading information contained within.
“I wrote to Apple asking them to remove the four plus rating based on the material being objectionable and it distorted my research,” said professor Remafedi. “I also requested the removal of the application from the iPhone. They responded to me yesterday morning and they said they are on it, but have not heard anything since then.”
The gay-rights activist group has worked closely with professor Remafedi, especially because his research findings have utilized as mistortions or misrepresentations, as indicated on a April 12th 2010 blog entry titled “Two Exclusive: researcher Reprimands Sham Pediatric Group for Distorting Research”.
From a blog post taken directly from Exodus International and their response to the controversy was:
“In no way shape or form is our message about trying to cure or do we try to promote that type of methodology or message,” Jeff Buchanan, Exodus International’s Senior Director of Church Equipping & Student Ministries, told The Christian Post”. “We are helping those who have unwanted same-sex attractions. Those who are gay or identify themselves that way, in no way, shape or form are we trying to speak to their position or trying to impose anything upon them,” he said.
With this fierce opposition, and the app being available for over a month has been removed by Apple with no official statement made on the controversy, according to International Business Times.
At time of the interview by phone Remafedi expressed confidence that Apple would respond because of the overwhelming opposition to the Exodus iPhone app.
“I think they will respond to my request. Apple is a corporation and they don’t have an obligation to represent the free speech of the vendors. They are incurring liability by having applications to fringe groups and ultimately they use their applications to market their product.”