Apple has removed an app promoting anti-gay messages from the App Store after an LGBT rights organization petitioned against it.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the app was created three years ago by Living Hope Ministries, a Texas based non-profit that’s been accused of gay conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual identity. On its website, the organization claims to “disciple young adults who are actively seeking Christian support as they pursue Christ and His design for sexuality.”
The app has been available in Google, Amazon, and Windows stores. Truth Wins Out, an organization that opposes conversion therapy and launched a petition against the app, says it was removed from the Apple store a day after it appeared there.
“We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people,” Truth Wins Out Director Wayne Besen said in a statement.
Truth Wins Out told the Dallas Morning News that the app hosted by Living Hope Ministries posed a threat to LGBT communities.
In a new letter released Friday, Truth Wins Out also claims that the app has been removed from the Amazon store as well, but is still available on Google.
“We suggest that Google take a moment to ‘Google’ Living Hope Ministries so they can see how divisive and destructive their messages are,” Besen said in a statement. “Every minute this hideous product is available on the Google platform, the potential exists for it to harm LGBT youth. This is an opportunity for Google to showcase its stated commitment to supporting the LGBT Community.”
The app reportedly features content that promotes anti-gay messaging. Think Progress’ Zack Ford used the app and went into detail about what can be found on the platform.
“The app is fairly rudimentary, giving users access to various podcasts, articles, and devotionals that all promote its ex-gay messages. One of the recent podcast episodes, for example, features a mom talking about how her family reacted when their teenage son came out as gay. “God has not made same-sex attraction go away for him,” the mom explains, “and so he really struggles to know where God is in all of this.” She says that Living Hope has given her family hope that eventually he will overcome these struggles, but in the meantime they’ve imposed many limitations to his access to the internet and required that he meet with a minister weekly.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, Live Hope Ministries wasn’t aware of the removal of its app from the App Store until after it had already been done. The organization’s leadership says it plans to appeal the decision.