Report by Kieran Watkins
A petition asking Google and Apple to reject apps attempting to ‘cure’ people of being gay has been signed by more than 100,000 people.
The ‘Google: No Apps for Gay Cures’ petition was set up on May 29, 2013 to urge the technology giants to rid their online stores of the controversial applications, which have been deemed “harmful” and denounced by leading organisations and governments worldwide.
It came in response to one app available to download on Apple iTunes and Google Play called ‘Setting Captives Free’, which claimed it could teach you how to stop being gay.
The free download states it is “Christ-centred”, and helps people “find freedom from habitual sins and learn to grow in grace”.
According to their website, more than 418,879 people have benefited from Setting Captives Free, although the app has a 1.7 out of 5 star rating on Google’s marketplace.
The petition argues however that the apps are harming the LGBT community.
Writing on the petition page, it states: “’Gay cures’ pray on people who are deeply worried they might be gay, convincing them that they have a serious illness.
“That can lead desperate people to depression or suicide.”
Such practises like the objectives behind ‘Setting Captives Free’ have been denounced by organisations including the America Psyciatric Association and the Pan-America Health Organization, as well as many governments.
Users of Google Play have also condemned the free download. Commenting on the app listing on Google’s marketplace, Josh Campbell said the app was “absolutely disgusting”, whilst Mickey Ricci called the application “bigoted”.
In just 24 hours from the launch of the petition, the app disappeared off the iTunes store, but remains on the Google marketplace.
With 164,658 signatures so far, help the petition reach its goal of 200,000 by signing here.