Apple Bans Gay ’Cure’ App, Google Doesn’t
An iPhone app titled "Setting Captives Free" that claims to help gay users "cure" themselves of homosexuality has been removed by Apple from their download store. Android users, however, can still download the app from Google's app store, Pink News reports.
The app in question is the product of Setting Captives Free, a non-denominational ministry. According to their website, their founder and president Mike Cleveland, a commercial airline pilot and author of seven books "was captive to habitual sins for many years. He finally began to seek help and learned the biblical solution to his sin problem: repentance, forgiveness, and the newness of life that comes through the gospel. In January, 1999, Mike found forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ, and God changed his heart. Since that time, he has been completely free from all forms of habitual sin, by God's grace." The ministry has several online courses and apps that tackle a myriad of addictions ranging from gambling, substance abuse, overeating and pornography.
"Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, you do not have a 'homosexual gene,' nor were you born this way with no hope of freedom," Setting Captives Free's description reads. "You can be set free from the bondage of homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and the cross!"
Pink News reports, the app was removed from Apple's App Store "in the past hour." The article was posted on Friday at 12:09 a.m. GMT.
A spokesman for Google told the website that the company is looking into complaints regarding Setting Captives Free.
A number of users reviewed the app on Google's app store, called Google Play. One user rated it one star out of five and wrote, "I wish I could give this app no stars, because this is a horrible app, made by sick people, being gay is not an illness, you can't cure it! This app should not be aloud on the app store it should be taken down, and I hope soon it is, this is the kind of thing that drives gay teens to cut or commit suicide you shouldn't be promoting hate you should promote love, isn't that what god wants?"
Another wrote, "This really is a crock. Don't you closet gays have anything better to do with your time? Staying in the closet only hurts you guys."
The app has an average rating of 1.5 out of five with 240 users giving it just one star. Only 34 users gave it five out of five stars.
"There is absolutely zero evidence programs like 'Setting Captives Free' works," Andre Banks of AllOut told Pink News. "It is so ridiculous that anyone would think an iPhone or Android app could cure someone's sexual orientation that it is easy to laugh this off, but there are vulnerable people who don't know better and will try this app and fail to change. We are most concerned about those who will harm themselves as a result of this insane app."
This isn't the first anti-gay app Apple has rejected. Back in 2010, the computer company banned the Manhattan Declaration app because it is "objectionable and potentially harmful to others." The app allowed users to take a quiz that rewarded conservative, "right" responses to questions about homosexuality and abortion.
Again, a year later, a similar app came under fire for allegedly offering homophobic content. The Confession: A Roman Catholic App upset LGBT activists who said that it was "promoting anti-gay spiritual abuse" by directing users to ask themselves, "Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?"