A Christian group has had its app removed from Apple’s online store after a gay rights group objected to it.
“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 Executive Director Wayne Besen told NBC. “Ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help.”
The group had started an online petition to have the app banned. The petition drew 356 supporters.
“The app falsely portrays being gay as an ‘addiction’, ‘sickness’, and ‘sin,'” the Change.org petition read.
“The American Psychiatric Association warns that attempts to change one’s sexual orientation can lead to ‘anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior,’ including suicide. Why would Apple allow its online store to be used as a platform to promote such dangerous, homophobic garbage?” the petition asked.
Ricky Chelette, the executive director of Living Hope Ministries, said the app was developed three years ago.
“We help people understand who they are in Christ,” Chelette said. “We only help those individuals who are seeking us.”
Chelette said he plans to challenge Apple’s decision to remove the app.
“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,” Chelette said. “We love gay-identified individuals.”
(Apple Buckles to a Gay Activist Group demanding a Christian Ministry App not Supporting the Gay Lifestyle be pulled) has been published on My Iphone 8 – https://t.co/VgynyUeWKP pic.twitter.com/hNdO73S6gA
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The ministry is not promoting conversion therapy, he said.
“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.”
“We are saddened by Apple’s and Microsoft’s removal of our app because of a single person’s false accusations. Regardless of their decision we will continue to make the app and our services available to those who seek them,” Chelette said in an email to The Christian Post.
“We are a ministry that for nearly 30 years has helped individuals resolve their feelings they deem incongruent with their faith. We help people deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through Bible study and accountability. We walk with them to align their lives with the teachings of Jesus Christ,” he wrote.
“Through support groups they realize they are not alone and are able to share honestly and openly in a non-condemning atmosphere about their struggles, passions, and victories. From chaos and confusion they often find peace, hope, and a deeper sense of personal wholeness. Our ministry is free and strictly voluntary,” he wrote.
“In a day when diversity and tolerance is celebrated I would hope it would be extended to issues of faith and practice,” he added in the email.
Apple did not comment about the removal of the app.
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