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Controversial 'gay cure' app pulled from App Store

148,000 sign petition criticising 'double standards'

A 'gay cure' app that promised "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus" has been removed from Apple's App Store.

The app, which was created by Christian group Exodus International, offers news, information and resources from the organisation that claims to address "unwanted same-sex attraction" through counselling. It was only available in the US before being pulled from the App Store.

Apple was criticised by gay rights groups for allowing the app into the App Store, particularly as it has banned other apps deemed to be racist or anti-semitic in the past. A petition on the Change.org website had gathered more than 148,000 signatures calling on the app to be removed.

"Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ" and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] life to recruit clients," wrote the petition creator, US campaign group Truth Wins Out.

"Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-semitic apps in its app store, yet it is giving the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a "sin that will make your heart sick" and a "counterfeit." This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences. Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable."

Apple has not made an official comment on the matter but the Exodus International app is no longer in the App Store. However, the petition creators called on people to keep signing the petition.

"Apple has yet to release an official statement. Let's keep up the pressure to make sure Apple comes through, and confirms that this 'gay cure' app has been removed from iTunes."

Back in November 2010, Apple pulled another app, Manhattan Declaration, from the App Store after pressure from campaign groups.

See also: Wikileaks app removed from App Store

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