Apple has removed an iOS app from the App Store after LGBTQ rights organizations pointed out how the app portrayed homosexuality as “sickness” and “sin”. The app, “developed” by Living Hope Ministries is a Texas based company, but also has churches in the United Kingdom that go by the same name.
The app made by a religious group Living Hope Ministries plans to appeal Apple’s decision to remove their app.
Apple states clear Apple Developer Guidelines, which are used in tandem with the iOS Human Interface Guidelines, which states that applications can’t include content that is “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited” including commentary about sexual orientation.
Defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way. Professional political satirists and humorists are generally exempt from this requirement.
Due to these guidelines, Apple has the reasoning to remove the app from the App Store because the app violated most of the contents in Review Guidelines 1.1.1. Living Hope Ministries provided the following statement regarding the app’s removal:
“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 love gay-identified individuals.”
This is very similar to the Alex Jones’ Infowars app – which was removed by Apple first, and then Google, Twitter and Facebook followed along with Apple’s decision, with Facebook confirming Apple’s prompt decision led them to remove the app.
In this case, Google states that the app has been installed less than 1,000 times, however the app still remains available on Google Play and the Amazon App Store. The LGBTQ rights organization have prompted that Google should remove the app if it wants a safe App Store, where views can be shared, in a safe space.
Truth Wins Out’s Senior Executive Director Wayne Bensen provided a statement to Apple on the decision, which said the following:
“We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people, ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help.”
Appleosophy has requested a comment from Apple Inc. but no reply has been provided. We will update you if Apple provides a statement.