An app called “Setting Captives Free” that claims to help people escape habitual sins, including homosexuality, through its 60 day course has been removed from the Apple App store, but is still available for download on the Google app store.
The app tells gay people they are not “born this way” and offers to help them find “freedom from the bondage of homosexuality”. “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. You can be set free from the bondage of homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ and the cross!” the app claims.
ALL OUT reported about the app first and sent out email to its members worldwide, asking them to petition both Apple and Google to remove the app from their app stores. “These so-called treatments can cause terrible harm to lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people, or anyone forced to try to change who they are or who they love,” ALL OUT wrote in its petition. Within 24hrs, more than 50,000 people had already signed the online petition and Apple removed the app from its App Store for violating the company’s developer guidelines, which do not allow “the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity”. However, the app is still available for download on Google’s Play Store.
In 2011, Google App store was under similar controversy when an app called “Is My Son Gay?” was available for download. The app, through a series of 20 questions, claimed to be able to tell parents whether their son is gay or not. The app was finally taken down by Google after similar outrage by people from around the world.