All right, I haven’t really gone through and numbered my reasons for disliking Apple or Apple’s products, but I’ve never made any bones about not liking Apple’s products or companies, for reasons ranging from a lack of hardware customisation options in their desktop PCs to their incredibly high price points, to their attempts to retain customers by implementing technological barriers. Now there’s a new reason: they’re perfectly willing to support homophobia and homosexual ‘reprogramming’.
Article reproduced below:
Apple ‘gay-cure’ app severely slapped
Jobs forced to choose between Christian chums and gay BFF
By Jane Fae Ozimek 18th March
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 change.org website, asking Steve Jobs to intervene to remove the app. The app is the work of the Exodus International ministry.
In a letter which those supporting their petition sign up to receive, they write: “Apple has long been a friend of the LGBT community, opposing California’s Proposition 8, removing the anti-gay Manhattan Declaration iPhone app, and earning a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
“I am shocked that this same company has given the green light to an app from a notoriously anti-gay organization like Exodus International that uses scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients, endorses the use of so-called ‘reparative therapy’ to ‘change’ the sexual orientation of their clients.”
According to TWO, “reparative therapy” has been roundly condemned by every major professional medical organisation. The petition launched last week and has already attracted some 17,000 signatures: however, as word of the app spreads, the rate at which individuals are signing up appears to be snowballing.
Exodus International claims to be “the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality”. On its site, Exodus states that it “upholds heterosexuality as God’s creative intent for humanity, and subsequently views homosexual expression as outside of God’s will”.
Their new smartphone app was released last week and is “now available through iTunes”. According to Exodus, this app has received a 4+ rating from Apple and “applications in this category contain no objectionable material”. They conclude: “This application is designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.”
TWO are unimpressed. Describing the app as “unacceptable”, and requesting its immediate removal, they warn Apple: “Your company would never allow a racist or anti-Semitic app to be sold in the iTunes store, and for good reason. Apple’s approval of the anti-gay Exodus International app represents a double standard for the LGBT community with potentially devastating consequences for our youth.”
We have asked Apple whether it intends to take any action in respect of this app, but so far have received no response.
Unfortunately for Apple, it may shortly have to chose between offending its Christian base and its gay base. Both have significant spending power, and we suspect this is an issue it would rather just went away.
However, when faced with a similar issue last November, after an app was created around the Manhattan Declaration which is hostile to gay marriage, Apple came down on the side of gay rights and removed the app.
So what does this history tell us? It suggests to me that Apple as a corporation either believes that homosexuality is a curable disease, or they’re perfectly okay with allowing people to treat it as such if it turns them a quick buck selling apps. Jane Ozimek notes that Apple has two very powerful customer bases in the form of the GLBT community and the conservative Christian community (although the latter is something I find very surprising). Her article suggests that Apple has allowed anti-gay apps through in the past (whether by mistake or otherwise) before removing them. However, I find it very telling that the Exodus app received a rating of 4 from Apple itself, which indicates that in Apple’s view, the app contained no objectionable content.
This means that either someone who was authorised to speak on Apple’s behalf finds nothing objectionable about spreading homophobia and endorsing misinformation about homosexuality, or that Apple as a corporation is banking on the hope that they can take the app down soon, apologise, and in the meantime make money off sales of the app to it’s Christian customer base not caring about the negative social impact or consequences it’s money grabbing tactics can have on at risk individuals.
Either way, I am unimpressed. If it is the former, then I question how it is that Apple either has a corporate culture and set of values that endorses homophobia, or how Apple’s spokesperson guidelines were so insufficient as to allow an individual authorised spokesperson to make such a statement. If it is the latter, then I question the ethics of both Apple as a business, and the individual consumer in supporting such a business that clearly puts making a small profit above the sexual equality, anti-discrimination and corporate social responsibility.
It is entirely possible that Apple is banking on the fact that it can beg forgiveness continually while continuing to pursue either a homophobic agenda or supporting the homophobic agenda of others to make a quick buck in the window of opportunity between publishing an app, and apologising and pulling it down. Regardless of which option is reflective of the truth, I do not see Apple as a company worth supporting, or forgiving.
From this point forward I am officially boycotting Apple’s products. Not because I don’t approve of their pricing or don’t like their products. I am boycotting Apple because they are either homophobic or exploiting homophobia for profit–actually, I think exploiting homophobia for profit is the same thing as being homophobic. In the past I have said “I don’t like Apple’s products, but if they made something I was convinced was amazing, I’d buy it”. This is no longer the case. Until I am convinced that Apple will not support or attempt to profit off homophobia in any way, I will never buy any Apple product, no matter how amazing it may be.
I invite you to join me.