Apple has removed a religious app from its online store blamed for wrongly describing gay as an ‘addition’, ‘sickness,’ and ‘sin’ after the LGBTQ rights requested for its removal.
Truth Wins Out, a non-profit organization released a petition against the app which is developed by Living Hope Ministers, a religious group based out in Arlington. Living Hope Ministers says that it helps all “those people who want a sexual and relationship wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ”. For this, they also provide one-on-one counseling, support groups, and online forms.
Living Hope Ministers Executive director said, “We help people understand who they are in Christ.” “We only help those individuals who are seeking us,” he added.
Based on Truth Wins Out petition, the app is promoted its users “to change from gay-to-straight through prayer and therapy.”
The petition had 356 supporters. Truth Wins Out stated that it will also reach to remove app from all other platforms where the app is still being hosted.
After Apple has removed the app from the App Store, Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out thanks Apple and its CEO Tim Cook in a statement,
“We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people,” said Besen. “Ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help.”
Ricky Chelette stated that he wasn’t warned that Apple would remove the app and he plans to fight for the decision and says that the ministry doesn’t believe that its message encourages in conversion therapy.
Chelette said, “I think it’s unfortunate that the advocacy group doesn’t know what we do and is assuming that we’re some hate organization. We are not, we love gay-identified individuals.”
He also said that he himself was attracted to men in 1980s however he later had an experience with Christ which transformed his life.
“We try to help folks who are conflicted with their faith and feelings,” he said. “We have been doing that for a very long time.”
Apple hasn’t commented on the removal of the app.