Exodus International app

The real reason Exodus International’s “gay cure app” was distorted, censored

Too offensive to too many people. That’s the sole reason Exodus International, a ministry to those struggling with same-sex attractions, received from Apple in late March when the organization’s iPhone app was abruptly removed from iTunes. 

A month earlier, Apple had approved the Exodus app, which provides mobile access to information for those struggling with matters of sexuality and faith. But after gay activist group Truth Wins Out launched a petition and supposedly gathered 150,000 digital signatures, Apple caved.

Apple has yet to offer a full explanation, other than to say the app “violates developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” Last November, the company, which provides hundreds of apps specific to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, removed an app from The Manhattan Declaration, a group of Christian leaders supporting biblical teaching on marriage. Once again, the app was approved until gay activists lobbied for its removal.

Yet both cases also highlight gay activists’ power in distorting reality through major media outlets. The Exodus incident drew national attention, partly because Truth Wins Out swayed media to peg Exodus’ app as a “gay cure app,” and the ministry an “anti-gay religious extremist” group full of “closet cases [who] put people in therapy and try to make them straight.” Meanwhile, Truth Wins Out clearly won out as heroic defenders of gay rights—and not a word was mentioned about free speech.

Jeff Buchanan, a senior director at Exodus, found the silver lining amid the backlash: “While we will always advocate our constitutional rights to be a part of civic dialogue, being ‘offensive’ can sometimes provide opportunities to love those who oppose us all the more fervently.”

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