Another app erased.
Amazon has removed a gay conversion therapy app following complaints from Truth Wins Out, a national LGBTQ rights organization, ThinkProgress reports.
“We take these matters seriously and the app has been removed from the Amazon Appstore as it is in violation of our policies,” says an Amazon corporate spokesperson.
“Amazon displayed laudable corporate accountability by taking a firm stand against a program that we believe bilks consumers and potentially causes considerable damage to the people they claim to help,” says Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen in a statement.
Amazon had hosted the app for Living Hope Ministries, a non-profit Christian group based in Arlington, Texas. The free app reportedly promoted a “more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ” as a result of eliminating one’s homosexuality with the help of ex-gay podcasts, articles, and devotionals.
“I don’t know why they would have taken it down,” said Living Hope Ministries executive director Ricky Chelette, who was not notified in advance of Apple’s deletion. “We’ll obviously appeal to them to reinstate it.”
Living Hope Ministries maintains that it helps people “seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.” Many LGBTQ groups, however, have accused the group of practicing “ex-gay” reparative therapy, faith-based counseling aimed at ridding someone of homosexuality.
“We have no problem with an individual who is gay if that’s what they want to be,” Chelette continued. “We don’t make any proclamations about fixing anyone… All we do is teach a very orthodox view of biblical truth.”
“We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people,” said Besen in a previous statement. “Ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help.”
Besen is still fighting to get the app removed from Google, which is reportedly the only major platform still carrying it. “Every minute this heinous product is available on these platforms, the potential exists for it to harm LGBT youth,” he continued.
Apple previously removed a conversion therapy app from Exodus International, a now-defunct Christian group, in 2011.
So far 14 states, as well as Washington, D.C., have legally banned conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The controversial practice is still legal in Texas.