One of my favourite episodes of Will & Grace involves Jack stumbling across the “Welcome Back Home” conversion program.

Apple can bend to the weight of public opinion. Photo: AFP.

It’s hilarious for two reasons: One, because Jack cunningly chooses to think of the group as “Welcome Back Homo” and two, as the episode amusingly shows, washing that gay right out of your hair isn’t all that simple. Or successful.

My interest in conversion programs is two-fold. I find them stupidly hilarious as Will & Grace and But I’m a Cheerleader and Saved and Boston Legal and Big Love and plenty of other examples testify.

As a sex researcher I am also thoroughly fascinated by them in all their fraudulent, exploitative and depressingly sad glory.

But offensive? No, they’re not offensive. At least no more offensive than creams designed to make dark skins light. Or curly hair straight. In fact, the gay cure app was perfectly in line with the subtext of most products sitting on store shelves: that we’re defective without them.

In response to the slew of protests about the gay cure app, Apple decided to pull the product.

A foolish and hypocritical decision, in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understood popular disgust. It is, without doubt, horrendous that there are people who consider homosexuality a disease.

But Apple’s decision to bow to the vocal theatrics of protestors is at most evidence of their inconsistent politics. And their complete disregard for choice.

Not that any of this is surprising, of course. Apple are masters at flip-flopping when it comes to homosexuality.

Let’s cast our minds back to the launch of the iPad. The company quickly censored a graphic novel showing two men kissing. And then they uncensored it.

First Apple hate the gays. Then they love the gays. Then they don’t know how they feel about the gays. Then they realise that the gays buy the computers too.
I am incredibly supportive of gay rights. Not solely because I believe in keeping my options open, but because of all the many things that people are be bigoted about, I don’t understand the ones to do with love and sex.

But as passionate as I might be about equality, I’m also passionate about choice.

Whether you believe in biology or social construction it is always choice underpinning whether or not we act on our sexual desires.

Perhaps we didn’t choose the thought, didn’t choose the tingling genitals, but acting on arousal is up to us.

And here’s the rub. At this time in my life my sexual interests are legal and by and large popularly accepted.

But this isn’t the case for everybody. I’ve been in relationships with men who’ve had all kinds of sexual interests that aren’t accepted by the masses. Interests which they themselves bitterly resent having.

Not everybody who is turned on by members of their own sex, or by sadomasochism, or by sex toys, or by erotic asphyixiation, actually accepts their fantasies.

Not everybody wants to be turned on by this stuff and certainly not everybody wants to act on it.

Some people vehemently hate the places that their desires take them.

I truly despise that we live in a world where people feel that their legal sexual desires are unacceptable. I hate that there are people peddling these kinds of idiotic programs and I hate that there are customers for them.

But stronger than my resentment for the products is my belief in supporting people’s sexual choices.

If I’m intent on championing everyone’s right to do whatever legal things they want to do under their doona, then I also need to advocate for their choice not to.

If Apple are going to sell apps like Grindr then they also need to sell shonky, brainwashing apps designed by charlatans. It’s only fair.

That there are fascist organisations like the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and Exodus International doing “research” and running vile conversion/aversion/punishment/deprogramming activities makes me sad, makes me outraged, makes me laugh.

But if it’s okay for us to partake of gay sex and to download tacky hook-up apps, then it’s got to be okay for people to choose to think they can “reform” with the help of bogus technology.

Most commented


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    • Miss X says:

      12:12pm | 28/03/11

      I agree and understand your point of view completely.

      My take is simple. If we allow any large group, or minority to howl down anything they dislike if it does not physically harm nor discriminate upon them, then we are allowing discrimination itself to take place.

      In the same way I am happy to hear atheists discuss and debate about the lack of existence of a god or God, I am equally happy to discuss and debate the existence of God.

      I think its important to allow us humans to have a diverse range of opinions. In the same way I may personally think that some of my Muslim friends’ points of view about women are distasteful (i.e. seeing them as having a lack of individual identity, but instead, considering them as an extension of a patriachal family structure headed by a man), I think that they have the right to express their points of views.

      Even, if their women permit, practise their customs so long as these women are not physically harmed nor discriminated to the point of enslavement.

      Same as the men and women who happily enjoy and partake in promiscuous activity and non committed liasions (i.e. open relationships) with one another so long as it is mutually consentual and not one or the other being tricked.

      But its important that our common law remains impartial to these diverse views and the law protects individuals who are positively discriminated upon negatively or maliciously targeted. The law should remain objective to what is ‘right’ - the victim and the innocent should always be protected. The law should never lean towards any particular bias.

      If we delete every point of view the current dominant group of people or society dislikes, we would be committing a grave mistake. We humans have flourished in a world of conflicting perspectives and arguments.

      If the religious and political zealots were allowed to pressurise and oppress those who came up with the concept of a round earth, we’d be still walking around thinking the world is flat. There would be no America, there would be no trade, nor would we live in the flourishing, connected and globalised world today.

    • sol says:

      09:20am | 29/03/11

      Who are you and why don’t you comment more often?! I’m not used to reading rational thought in the first 10 comments at the Punch…

    • OchreBunyip says:

      09:20am | 29/03/11

      Good points Miss X; regrettably some minority groups feel it is important to not only make a choice for themselves but to also make a choice for you and me for our own good. In a democracy you would think minority points of view would be submerged by the majority opinion but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    • Mel says:

      10:19am | 29/03/11

      Excellent comment Miss X.  It’s nice to see some rational balance entering back into the PC debate.  It is the underlying principles of freedom and choice that are important, not the desire to control anothers’ activities based on popular moral justification.

    • Helen says:

      12:30pm | 29/03/11

      Er, rational? there was nothing about “the law” in the background story, rather, it was Apple exercising *choice* not to have apps by a tacky, fundy homophobic lobby group, linked to the putrid James Dobson, infesting their devices. Perfectly understandable, and the article is completely logically incoherent.

    • progressivesunite says:

      12:17pm | 28/03/11

      being gay is about a lot more than just sex, you know….people also have emotional and intellectual attractions to the same gender and would feel wrong with an opposite sex partner in most areas of their relationship, not just in the bedroom

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      12:38pm | 28/03/11

      Strange. You’d think those aspects would be highlighted at the Mardi Gras.

    • boo says:

      02:08pm | 28/03/11

      way to ignore the elephant. The author is talking of freedom of choice (whether it is for high quality or crappy ideas), the hypocrisy that allows vocal groups to determine what is right or wrong for people to consume and you focus on aspects of homosexuality.

    • James1 says:

      12:22pm | 28/03/11

      Well said - my thoughts exactly.

      Otherwise, this is yet more proof that Apple is the epitome of the evil corporation.  Their desire to control what can and can’t be used on their products is something I find rather disturbing.  If only their products weren’t so damn good…

    • Rover of North Cooma says:

      04:01pm | 28/03/11

      Their products are so good? My iPod has just crashed again and deleted its entire memory. My iPhone won’t let me end calls most of the time.

      But their products are truly very pretty.

    • Andrew says:

      12:25pm | 28/03/11

      If the app was about abstinence, then I would agree with your article. But it is not, it believes it can change the hard-wiring in a homosexuals brain… Being Gay isn’t a choice, and your stance on equality being based on your desire to “keep your options open” is more offensive than you probably realise.

      Choice is a good thing, but so is being treated like an equal part of the human race. The backlash to this app is more about it once again being shoved in our face that we are not seen as equal and in this case, barely even human.

    • Unprotected Species says:

      12:50pm | 28/03/11

      “Choice is a good thing, but so is being treated like an equal part of the human race.”

      I don’t see how one application created by noted religious lunatics restricts your equality any more than an Islamic application featuring passages from the Koran calling for the deaths of infidels limits mine as an avowed infidel. Just a little melodramatic there Andrew.

      “The backlash to this app is more about it once again being shoved in our face that we are not seen as equal and in this case, barely even human.”

      So you’re all for restricting freedom for others if it makes your life easier while demanding that such restrictions should not be placed on you. Nice. Like it.

    • AdamC says:

      12:28pm | 28/03/11

      I thought this was an odd decision as well. And Apple’s justification - that the content was likely to offend a lot of people - is both cowardly and difficult to substantiate.

      I, like many people, find the idea of straightening people’s sexuality completey misguided, but I don’t find it offensive. And neither do the people who claimed to be offended. Those people actually object politically to the idea and, in an unfortunately totalitarian response, managed to get Apple to dump the app.

      Now, Apple is a private, commercial operation and it can do what it wants. But society doesn’t usually benefit from silencing everyone who has uncovebntional views or ideas.

    • Kirstin says:

      12:56pm | 28/03/11

      I am a bisexual woman and I do find it offensive. It is offensive to suggest that my sexuality is something that needs to changed, to be fixed. Please do not tell me that my offense is a purely political objection, because it is not. It is a deeply personal objection to an app that tells me that I am broken when I am nothing of the sort.

      That being said, I have mixed feelings about Apple pulling the app. It is a totalitarian approach, but it is an app that targets those who are already suffering and exploits their pain.

    • Muttley says:

      01:38pm | 28/03/11

      Kirsten, the author raises an excellent point. By your definition, you must be anti skin whitening or darkening creams. They certainly imply that skin colour is a fault as well, dont they? What is the difference?

    • Markus says:

      01:52pm | 28/03/11

      “but it is an app that targets those who are already suffering and exploits their pain.”
      We live in a capitalist society. Every product on the market beyond the basic necessities of living is about targetting those who are suffering and exploiting their pain, for a profit.

    • L. says:

      02:09pm | 28/03/11


      “I am a bisexual woman and I do find it offensive.”

      Offensive to you it may be, but nowhere is it written that we have the right not to be offended…

    • AdamC says:

      03:16pm | 28/03/11

      @Kirstin, but what offended you about the app? It sounds to me that you oppose (personally or otherwise) the idea of ‘curing’ homosexuality and therefore want to reduce the ability of those offering such services to reach potential clients. I wouldn’t call that offense.

    • hot tub political machine says:

      03:27pm | 28/03/11

      Markus, spot on. What was it that Adam Hills said “You only buy? S*** because you feel like S***”

    • fml says:

      12:41pm | 28/03/11

      Ahhh get it the freedom of speech argument.

      I ask you this Lauren, when does one persons freedom of speech end? and a persons freedom not to be ostracized start?

      Why stop at anti-gay, lets go on and try to turn black people white, Asians into white people, non-australians into australians. Those pesky minorities changing my way of life and preventing me from speaking my mind! /sarcasm.

      You may be for choice. Yes if its inline with your status quo. i mean fuck everybody else why should i care about them, let them be offended so i continue to have the opportunity to buy this app if i want to, even though i dont.

      Next time you Lauren, as the minority white woman is complaining about something, give me a call, i will write an app and kick you while your down, further more ill bring the salt.

    • Erick says:

      02:12pm | 28/03/11

      What a shallow take, fml.

      What happens when some group decides *your* speech is offensive to *them*? You’ll be up the creek then without freedom of speech.

    • James says:

      02:17pm | 28/03/11

      Do you actually realise for you to be affected, you would have to download the app and run it? It doesn’t magically appear on the iPod’s of gay people and stop you from listening to music until you run the app.

      “...preventing me from speaking my mind! /sarcasm.” - Sarcastic and ironic.

    • fml says:

      02:21pm | 28/03/11

      Actually Erick, its quite the opposite of shallow.

      If my speech is offensive, i apologize and move on. i dont play the victim.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      02:25pm | 28/03/11

      Ahhh the pseudo intellectual argument for oppression.

      fml, As a white person I take personal offense to your post. I hope The Punch takes it down and bans you from any further interactions on the site.

    • James says:

      02:56pm | 28/03/11

      ” i dont play the victim.”

      you claiming you are the down, do claim victimhood:

      “as the minority white woman is complaining about something, give me a call, i will write an app and kick you while your down, further more ill bring the salt. ”

    • fml says:

      02:59pm | 28/03/11

      Sad Sad Reality.

      As a white person do you take offence, when somebody is offended by the offensive statement you just made?

      Oh my, Is that really the extent of problems white folk have? my heart bleeds.

    • Erick says:

      03:14pm | 28/03/11

      fml, just as your heart bleeds for white folk, so my heart bleeds for gay folk.

    • fml says:

      03:15pm | 28/03/11


      Righto, all the problems would be fixed if i just didnt download it! pull your head out of the sand, the crux of the issue is that this app being allowed to positively reinforce negative stereotypes.

      Im not playing the victim at all. I am although against the writers perceived benelovance. The author claims to completely understand popular disgust and she thinks its horrendous. But, does she?, Apparently watching a couple of episodes of Will and Grace makes you “down” with the homo’s. She then goes on to essentially say shut the hell up because my right to offend you is greater than your right not to be offended.

      So which is it, is your right to offend greater than mine not to be offended?

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      03:16pm | 28/03/11

      Yes, fml, militant ignorance is our big bugbear.

    • Erick says:

      03:38pm | 28/03/11

      fml, you do not have a “right not to be offended”. There is no such thing, whatsoever.

    • James says:

      03:49pm | 28/03/11

      fml - “is your right to offend greater than mine not to be offended?”


      Your right to be offensive is greater than mine not to be offended. Volitaire is usually quoted around about now.

    • Jade says:

      03:53pm | 28/03/11

      fml - you have never had a right not to be offended. And it is that speech which is most repulsive to us that we should defend most ardently. In the interests of freedom.

      While I find the very nature of this iPod app absolutely abhorrent, I have no right to push for its banning, or the banning of the speech behind it. Unless I think that those who believe in this way also have the right to recommend that gay rights advocates be banned from their speech.

    • fml says:

      03:58pm | 28/03/11


      I prefer Soren Kierkegaard.

      “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”

    • fml says:

      04:40pm | 28/03/11


      While i am glad you find this abhorrent, when you say we this type of speech we have to “defend most ardently” scares me.

      The law limits freedom of speech and it works for all people of all races and colours and genders. I could go to a church and say your all your gods are wrong, or picket a funeral, or write an app that shoots a number of gods from various religions, i dont, because i know this would offend people and cause more pain, i can do so if i wanted but i dont, i think there are better ways of spending my time than insulting people. I could be out there helping people or deliberately stirring hate.

      I dont like it when people think its their birth right to go forth and spread fear and negativity, and that is exactly what this application is doing. I dont want hide the hurt my actions cause under the banner of freedom of speech just because i am in the majority.

    • James says:

      04:43pm | 28/03/11

      fml - Ironic you chose to quote a person who believed in god and thus more lkely to uphold a stance against homosexuality.

      I can understand why you prefer him, his thought “People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me”, points towards a person with a poor tolerance of others opinions.

    • fml says:

      05:15pm | 28/03/11


      firstly i am open minded enough to know that not all religious people are against homosexuals. I have no idea what Kierkegaards opinion on the matter was and for you to suggest that he was against it just because he believed in a god is nothing but hear say on your behalf. If you wish to make wild accusations about his character go ahead. But using the argument, that he might be against homosexuals because he beleived in god to somehow prove that i am preventing people from having their opinion does not make logical sense.

      “his thought “People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me”, points towards a person with a poor tolerance of others opinions.”

      I have not heard this one, but if i am reading it correctly, it says people who know him have trouble understanding him. And actually thats quite typical of you. You dont understand me, hence you think i have poor tolerance of your opinion. I only have a poor tolerance of opinion when the opinion is reinforcing a negative stereotype.

    • James says:

      09:33pm | 28/03/11

      fml - keep reading on Soren, he was a close minded person who had a negative opinion on the intelligence of the general populus. He said the quote you put forward in a few ways amoungst a number of quite derisive thoughts.

      “I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this. “

      It is interesting to see how open minded you declare yourself to be when your preferred quote puts the authors opinon on a pedastool whilst deriding the opinion of others.

      I stil prefer Volitaire’s fight for freedom of speech.

    • fml says:

      10:25pm | 28/03/11

      upon further reading i think you have misinterpreted, or at the very least chosen certain phrases of kierkegaards ideology to further your own ends.
      While he did believe in god, he disliked the institution of Christianity, as the form presented by the populous.

      He thought that people should be judged on the whole of their life and not individual aspects. he also “used irony, parody, satire, humor, and deconstructive techniques in order to make conventionally accepted forms of knowledge and value untenable.”

      What i think has happened is you have taken a few of his satirical quotes and tried to make him out to be intolerant. He fought the christian church at the time for their judgemental practices and said that only god will judge a person on the whole not an individual trait.
      The judgement of the application is the exact form of ideology that he was fighting.

      He tried to separate the church and state, and was trying to break the stranglehold the church had at the time. he argued that ” the conceptual distinction between good and evil is ultimately dependent not on social norms but on God” meaning he was trying to fight the religious justification (put forth by the makers of the application, and what you are protecting)  the status quo used to justify its negative ways.

    • michael j says:

      03:18am | 29/03/11

      @FML finally someone with a sensible take on how to tackle the social problems of a dying planet,make these changes you talk of by using genetic manipulation,get rid of anything that reassembles culture,
      ban all nations,,elect a one world government,install nuclear reactors
      to power the planet,and recycle the dead for food,,
      and the human species will probably last another ten thousand years,

    • James says:

      07:43am | 29/03/11

      fml on some philosopher “upon further reading i think you have misinterpreted…”

      Aren’t you glad you have the freedom to access differing information and express your interpretation of Sorens motivations? Freedom rocks.

    • fml says:

      09:35am | 29/03/11


      Well yes it does, when its done by two adults who converse with out name calling and derision then its fantastic. The difference is between you and i is that you think everything and everyone should be free game, when i think there should be limits when its used to cause harm.

      The law is based on the same principle, if it were total anarchy freedom would be decided by the strong, and there would be little or no freedom for the rest of the people, i judge freedom of speech by the same principle, If there were total anarchy, the majority/strong controls the dialogue. Is that what we want? or freedom for all australians? and can this freedom be achieved by limiting our own personal freedom or allowing free reign?

      Michael J, you may jest, but you have some good ideas there.

    • Mel says:

      10:33am | 29/03/11

      Sorry fml, have to agree with James on this one.  A very shallow response, straight from university lecture halls, but with little understanding of the underlying notions.  You appear to place yourself as a higher authority than all other people because you believe yourself to be morally and politically correct.  That is a very dangerous position to take and generally tells us all that you aren’t as intelligent as you believe yourself to be.

    • fml says:

      12:03pm | 29/03/11


      Where in your response did you respond to my comments?

      “A very shallow response, straight from university lecture halls, but with little understanding of the underlying notions.”? What notions?

      “You appear to place yourself as a higher authority than all other people because you believe yourself to be morally and politically correct.”? So because i appear to be morally correct that makes me shallow? for actually stopping and thinking how my actions will affect other people, that makes me shallow? for stopping and thinking about what i am saying instead of saying whatever i like when ever i like? i am shallow?

      “That is a very dangerous position to take and generally tells us all that you aren’t as intelligent as you believe yourself to be.” ? Dangerous to whom? why is it dangerous? Not as intelligent? because i reply to posts with out explaining my point of view and the reprecussions of them? Do i just reply to posts and say your wrong and thats the end of that? yes how very shallow of me.

    • Helen says:

      12:39pm | 29/03/11

      “Erick says:03:38pm | 28/03/11
      fml, you do not have a “right not to be offended”. There is no such thing, whatsoever. “

      Hee - there speaks the guy who’s in a permanent state of offendedness, who jumps on the internet at 5 am to be first to complain on every thread which dares to raise womens/feminist issues!
      Love it.

    • says:

      12:42pm | 29/03/11

      Er, @fml.  I was agreeing with James.  Generally speaking, agreeing with a statement means that you echo the statement with which you agree.  Does that meet you pedantic little standards?

    • fml says:

      01:48pm | 29/03/11


      Half the things you accused me of, James didnt, he only accused me of being shallow, if i were you id email the punch and ask them to remove your email address.
      If i didnt self impose limits on my freedom of speech id spam your email.

    • Curious says:

      03:21pm | 29/03/11

      Helen -  “jumps on the internet at 5 am to be first to comment”

      Can I ask a few questions as I have seen comments referring to the time Erick is on a number of times.

      Why is it highlighted? Is it because you actually believe he would get up so early for the sole purpose of being the first to comment? Do you feel like you are being jilted in some manner for not rising so early and thus not having an oppotunity to be first?

    • Zaf says:

      12:46pm | 28/03/11

      Everybody has the choice to act/not act on desire, but It isn’t anybody’s birthright to have an app facilitating their choice available to them from Apple. 

      Apple is just a corporation that made a decision based on what was less likely to lose it market share.  I don’t think there was any wrestling with a ‘moral choice’ involved, or any like/dislike of gays/ex-gays.

      If ex-gays were more numerous and prosperous (and yuppielike) than ageing socially progressive ‘hipsters’ then it might have gone the other way.

    • HappyCynic says:

      12:49pm | 28/03/11

      I completely agree.  I also find these organisations like Exodus International to be utterly repellant and filled with hate-filled fearmongers masquerading as respectable Christians.  But I also respect some people wish to seek out these organisations and use their services, even if they don’t work.

      I look at it like this, currently there are people who don’t want to have sex at all and want to spend their lives in silent contemplation working for their various gods so they become a nun or a monk, hell if they’re lucky and say enough “Heil Hitlers” they might even end up as the freakin’ Pope smile

      These conversion “therapies” aren’t much different to a monastery or a nunnery - no one is being forced to use them and the beauty of humanity is there is always someone stupid enough to buy in to any idea no matter how moronic it might be.  So long as no one is hurt then live and let live.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:53pm | 28/03/11

      Wasn’t that episode with Doogie Howzer in it? I’m pretty sure it was. Genius piece of casting that!

      Almost as good as when they cast Emmett Honeycutt in the role of immigration official to determine whether Jack was truly married to Rosario. Funny stuff!

      I agree that Apple shouldn’t have removed the app. Everyone has a right to free speech and freedom of expression in Americaland and this should be respected. Doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with it and say something against them.

      Honestly, I think if organisations like Exodus were more out in the open then reasonable people would realise how stupid they are and eventually ignore them. At least it would get the discussion going.

    • Leah says:

      06:50pm | 28/03/11

      “I agree that Apple shouldn’t have removed the app. Everyone has a right to free speech and freedom of expression in Americaland and this should be respected. Doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with it and say something against them.”

      Yes, and that’s exactly what happened - free speech in action. The result was that a private corporation responded to the speech by removing the app, which is their perogative. This has nothing to do with limiting people’s speech or other rights. It was a commercial decision, plain and simple. And a wise one in my opinion.

    • Shane says:

      01:05pm | 28/03/11

      I agree totally with this article Lauren.  Free speech is like the kitchen light - it’s either on or it’s off!

      However, despite the obvious argument about selective censorship and what not, has anyone even bothered to think about what a bunch of fundamental christians with some skill at using Xcode would actually come up with in the first place?

      Quite frankly I can see a drinking game in the making and am upset that I won’t get the opportunity to download it for a laugh.

      Guess it’s back to doing shots every time the word ‘bespoke’ is mentioned in any given episode of Grand Designs after all.

    • Allie says:

      11:35pm | 28/03/11

      “Free speech is like the kitchen light - it’s either on or it’s off!”

      This is incorrect. There are various legal limitations on speech, and so there should be. The idea of absolute free speech at all costs can and does conflict with other rights, and therefore should not be a part of any society that truly values freedom. As the saying goes, “your right to swing your arm ends where it hits my face”. Or something like that.

    • Keen Observer says:

      01:12pm | 28/03/11

      Aplle doesnt care if people are gay, as long as they buy computers. Dont expect them to be your social barometer.

    • TracyH says:

      01:43pm | 28/03/11

      mmm…but if Apple had an anti-muslim app, wouldn’t that be offensive and immediately removed? Why are the gays in society supposed to be OK with it, because otherwise they may be seen as against freedom of speech? I think it’s a terrible thing, to hurt people by suggesting they need fixing.

    • Erick says:

      02:15pm | 28/03/11

      Then you’ll be against feminism, TracyH, because it suggests that men need fixing. In fact, pretty much any political movement claims that someone needs fixing.

      It’s far worse to take away people’s right to speak, than it is to suggest they need fixing.

    • Shane says:

      03:34pm | 28/03/11

      Erick, that is not what feminism is about.
      Although there is something defective about you. Not because you’re a bloke but because you’re empty.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      03:56pm | 28/03/11

      Shane, great description of feminism. You really captured all the nuances of the theory. Oh wait, you just took a juvenile swipe at Eric. Lame.

    • BL says:

      02:00pm | 28/03/11

      I’m sure people dont mind if Apple allows applications calling for the extermination of Christians and Jews then… after all both are obviously suffering from a mental “disease” since they worship an invisible man who lives in the sky.

      I am gay and I do not have a disease and I find it highly offensive and insulting for people to think an application like this is okay.

      Do you people also believe its okay to call dark-skinned people Ni**ers? Asians N**s? and arabs Sand Ni**ers? if not, why not? After all its “freedom of speech”, the same argument you people are peddling to support your bigotry.

    • Erick says:

      02:19pm | 28/03/11

      Yes, BL, it’s okay to call people names ... just as it’s okay for you to say that “Christians and Jews ... are obviously suffering from a mental ‘disease’”.

      How would you like it if what you just said got you arrested and imprisoned? That’s what you’re supporting.

    • James1 says:

      02:26pm | 28/03/11

      If you were a Christian and you felt that your sexual preferences were somehow undesirable, you would want the app.  Those are the people at whom such things are directed.  For those few, things such as this provide solace and hope that they can change themselves to conform with their beliefs.  Would you take that away from them just because it highlights how some sections of the community feel about you?  Regardless of whether this exists, people will feel the way they feel.  Banning it because it is offensive to some acheives nothing, expect perhaps to drive a few more gay Christians to suicide.

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      02:31pm | 28/03/11

      Maybe they should make an app for correcting ludicrous hyperbole and melodrama. Might thin this comment section a bit.

    • marley says:

      02:52pm | 28/03/11

      Applications calling for the extermination of anyone, be they Christians or Jews (or gays), would fall under hate laws.  And rightly so.

      Applications which promote the conversion of Christians or Jews to another religion would not.  A devout Orthodox Jew or fundamentalist Christian might find those apps as offensive as most of us find the Exodus app - but does it transgress the boundaries of free speech?  I’m not so sure. 

      Free speech is not, after all, about saying only those things which are socially acceptable.  It’s about having the right to be offensive, disgusting even.  It’s about having the right to say what you think, to utter things that are unpalatable to segments or sometimes to all of society.  As long as the other guy has the right to respond.

      And no, I don’t find it okay for people to use racist or sexist terms in their speech.  But neither do I think it’s right to charge them with some sort of offence. 

      Take a look at the internet.  All sorts of nonsensical, hate-filled garbage out there - about religion, about climate change, about gays, about blacks, about evolution, about feminism and feminazis, about lizard-men and elitist plots to decimate the world’s population.  Yet, it all falls within the range of things we recognize should be permitted under freedom of speech. Is this app any different?

    • Bob says:

      02:29pm | 28/03/11

      Apple pulled the Manhattan Declaration after a gay backlash. The Declaration was a cross demoninational christian group promoting their principles of the sanctity of human life, the dignity of traditional marriage, and religious liberty.

    • Erick says:

      02:46pm | 28/03/11

      I wonder what would happen if there was a religious backlash against gay apps?

      Apple’s greed and desire for total control has left it with a problem. Since every single app for the iPad/iPhone has to be approved by the company, Apple in effect becomes responsible for all the content of all its apps. And so it can be sued, boycotted, and the like by any pressure group that objects to any of the apps.

      This could end in a world of pain for Apple ...

    • Shane says:

      02:32pm | 28/03/11

      You’re all missing one very important point: The App was not a ‘Gay Cure App’ at all. The media dubbed it so. The actual App from Exodus International, a Christian Group who never said homosexuality is a disease. Not once, ever. You can disagree with their stance on being gay, but nothing they actually did and nothing in the App itself is hateful.

      Lauren Rosewarne writes that it is horrendous that there are people who consider being gay a disease. Perhaps, but that’s NOT this group!

      From their website:
      “Exodus International affirms that gay-identified individuals and those who struggle with same-sex attraction are persons for whom Jesus Christ died and loves equally.  Therefore, we strongly oppose bullying, name calling and acts of aggression against any individual or group of individuals for any reason… For those who consider the Bible to be life-giving truth, homosexual attractions and the desire to act on them are at odds with the desire to live a life that reflects the Christian faith and often results in moral tension…Our desire was simply to provide information to individuals exploring and looking for answers that are consistent with their own beliefs.  Apple already provides hundreds of apps specific to the GLBT community and has made the Gay Christian Network’s podcasts available on its iTunes store.  Our hope was to see equality represented on the same platform.”

      I look forward to the day when journalists report facts instead of installing their own story where there is none…

    • Sad Sad Reality says:

      02:49pm | 28/03/11

      So homosexuals are completely overacting to something inoffensive? No way. That’s not like them.

    • HappyCynic says:

      03:22pm | 28/03/11


      Funny, then why do they offer people a conversion ‘therapy’ for homosexuality?  If it’s not a disease then why offer something therapeutic (ie curative)?

      Also while they may not mention it as being a disease, but I’ll bet you that they heavily support groups like NARTH who do it for them.  Weasel words and spin are not just limited to politicians.  Anyone and everyone wishing to mask the truth in a veneer of respectability use them.  Plausible deniability is just a lod of sh*t.

    • PaulB says:

      12:20am | 29/03/11

      Exodus are being careful with their wording these days aren’t they.  Might be something to do with the number of Exodus alumni being caught having their knobs polished in a variety of interesting places, sometimes by fellow Exodus alumni.

    • stephen says:

      03:01pm | 28/03/11

      If Apple can’t include Exodus in its apps, (and they probably shoudn’t) then I don’t want to see Gay and Lesbian groups intimating to the Government that they wish to tour schools and talk to the kids about their sexuality.
      What people do in their bedrooms is of no business to school-students.

    • progressivesunite says:

      03:52pm | 28/03/11

      Again, being gay isn’t just about sex. But in relation to that bit, you’ll find that there are in fact gay school students, who have a right to the same level of sexual information as straight school students.

    • sidney says:

      03:35pm | 28/03/11

      I would imagine that there are a number of gay people that feel a level of guilt that they are homosexual. And I guess that where Exodus International can help them. From what I understand the christian faith regards homosexuality as a sin and that there are people who are gay who become Christians and want to get out of homosexuality.  If a person is gay and feel guilt about it, then from what I understand exodus international can help.

      A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs. Problem is if you dont agree with what the Christian faith, Islamic, athiesm or what ever belief system sexual orintaiton, by definition you are a bigot too.

      Apple is just about making money and will use any app to get the market talking about thier product.

    • Paul says:

      09:07pm | 28/03/11

      There are many strands of Christianity and not all Christians are negative about being gay. I am Christian and I am not the judgemental type. Who I am to judge such a thing?

    • TracyH says:

      09:12am | 29/03/11

      The irony of course being, that the only reason they may feel guilty is because of the prejudices of others, including churches etc. If everyone just simply accepted the differences in us all, then there’d be no need for Exodus at all. An analogy: if you were somehow transported to another planet where the norm was complete homosexuality, yet you were hetro, would you feel comfortable sleeping with and having ‘marital type’ relationships with the same sex? How about if the planet said “hey we love you, but we can ‘fix’ your hetrosexuality so you don’t feel quite so sick having same sex relations”. You might be able to be brain washed for a little while, but underneath the simmering disgust would fester and who knows…maybe death would seem preferable??

    • Paul Horn says:

      11:19am | 29/03/11

      Er TracyH sorry to spill the beans on your rather surrealist homosexual fantasy dear but any planet where homosexuality was the norm and heterosexuality regarded as aberrant is a planet on the sure path to extinction.  An exercise in complete futlity!

    • TracyH says:

      11:52am | 29/03/11

      Thanks for the chuckle Paul Horn smile Obviously on this far, far away planet breeding would happen in some way that we can’t fathom in our current biological understanding!! smile.

    • john says:

      09:27pm | 29/03/11

      I spose there are also many type of homosexuals some who have become christian and stuggle with it.

      I guess we have to make room for them all hey

    • Kate says:

      03:40pm | 28/03/11

      I agree, I don’t think Apple needed to remove the app.

      I don’t agree with the message that Exodus promotes. I find it pretty bigoted and ignorant. But the principles of freedom of speech that allow me to criticise Exodus should also apply to them.

      The app, like all others, would have been available for download for those who sought it out. It wouldn’t randomly pop up on your screen while you were browsing Facebook or listening to music. I’m not interested in rugby and I think it’s silly, but that doesn’t mean I want all rugby-related apps banned. I can just choose to ignore them.

    • Huey says:

      10:24pm | 28/03/11

      Yep, spot on Kate!

    • Duff says:

      01:03pm | 29/03/11

      NO, not spot on, Kate.  Nobody’s freedom of speech is at stake here.  That is a complete red herring which the author has fallen for (as have many people posting here).

      Apple is a private corporate citizen and may sell or not sell whatever Apps they choose.  Exodus may still publicly express their views as much as they like, but Apple doesn’t have to help them do it by selling their products.

      In fact, if we were to force Apple to sell the App “to be fair” we would in fact be restricting their freedom to choose what or what not to sell.  We would be infringing on their right to expression.

      So this article is meaningless, really.  Apple may do what they want.  It’s their iPhone.

    • Keen says:

      04:03pm | 28/03/11

      Do we know why people are gay yet? Knowing this would help everyone…

    • PaulB says:

      12:23am | 29/03/11

      Do we know why people are straight yet?  We’ll study why people are Gay when you are happy to get under the same microscope.  A few seconds thought before the fingers hit the keys can be time well spent, Keen

    • baal says:

      03:10am | 29/03/11

      bisexuality is the norm. Straight and gay are abberant. However until society progresses the gays and straights will battle it out as polar oppposites often do.
      I agree. Free speech for all.

    • biscuit says:

      10:15am | 29/03/11

      um, paulb, people are straight so that they can procreate. duh.

    • PaulB says:

      10:44am | 29/03/11

      Really biscuit.  That all?  We can hire monkeys to do that.

    • Erick says:

      11:33am | 29/03/11

      PaulB, have you heard about this new thing called the Theory of Evolution? It’s pretty cool. Look it up, bro.

    • Kika says:

      04:39pm | 28/03/11

      Groan. Boring. It was just an app which was freely downloaded by some gay people who thought they needed help to not be gay because of their personal feelings and belief that they didn’t feel comfortable with their feelings. Now I know I am going to get in trouble about this, but the author said it herself. Sometimes you can’t control what you like and what you don’t like. So in turn if that person didn’t want to feel this way, what is wrong with them trying to fix that? That’s their personal choice. They shouldn’t be dictated by others in telling them how they should feel or think about their own personal situation.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      06:16pm | 28/03/11

      Apple iTunes and Freedom of Speech is an oxymoron. Apps will vetted, cleaned and sterilized so as to preserve the iApple Image (TM). True rebels use Android.

    • TK says:

      12:46am | 29/03/11

      There’s freedom of choice (which shampoo? which car? which religion?) and then there are things which are not really about choice because the core underlying issues are not subject to choice (as defined by scientific research, not by arbitrary belief).

      An app that encourages homosexuals to choose long term commitment over casual sex for example would be fine. But an app that fosters the denial of self and God-given sexuality and the right to live a fulfilled life, with all its attendant psychological issues, is deplorable.

      Similarly I would not want to see an app that promotes the denigration of a particular race, gender, eye colour or other non-choice factors. How would you feel about a Nazi app that supposedly can cure Jewishness? That would be abhorrent.

      On a different matter, Apple is never and will never be consistent. Remember that Shake a Baby to Death app they had allowed, sold for several months, and then banned from public outcry?

    • Liz says:

      06:36am | 29/03/11

      The app was set up for Exodus at their request to cure homosexuality.Come on!! Dog ate the homework?

    • CJ says:

      07:53am | 29/03/11

      I find plenty of other apps listed in the app store offensive… are they going to be pulled too? I don’t think so…

    • John C says:

      08:25am | 29/03/11

      The real problem with this app is the potential is can be used to incite or validate hatred against homosexuals. We are seeing this in the pespective of a relatively safe Australian evironment where it will do little to affect us. But Apple is worldwide and a mad religious group that offers to cure homosexuality is a group that obviously hates homosexuals. It’s asking you to hate gays behind the guise of curing them. Just in a few places in America alone this is dangerous rhetoric.

    • Kemp says:

      10:57am | 29/03/11

      Do you hate someone with the measles or feel sorry for them?

      If people go looking for reasons to validate their beliefs, they will find them. Removing the app does nothing towards stopping them.

    • Lee from WA says:

      10:30am | 29/03/11

      If people don’t want to have homosexual desires, who are we to say that they should be denied their choice?

    • Paul Horn says:

      10:33am | 29/03/11

      Whether you like it or not dear progressives homosexuality is a disease.  You can scream your filth from the roof tops but no matter how you look at it it is a perversion no different to bestilaity, necrophilia, etc etc.

      Nature itself judges you as fools and idiots. Why why why would evolution create life and then create the act of sex in order that life be sustained? Why then would evolution “naturally” create homosexuality as a competing sexual practice, an act that frustrates the very purpose for which sex was designed?

      It is no different than arguing that someone suffering from cancer is as healthy as an Olympic athlete, that they are just .....“different” forms of ‘healthiness”! How stupid! 

      The primary purpose of sex if undoubtedly for procreation. How can fools argue that nature designed sex as much as for pleasure as procreation? There is no switch on the side of our neck that can be tuned to only pleasure or procreation. Throughout the ages billions of children have been born as a result of two peoples primary pursuit of pleasure. The two are simply different sides of the same coin. Without one the other cannot exist!

      Please tell me how does the practice of homosexuality aid in ensuring the survival of the species? What natural purpose does irt serve other than to degenerate human nature ensuring annihilaiton.

      Feminism pushes homosexuality or lesbianism as a central tenet of its philosophy. Its hatred of heterosexuality is abundantly clear:-

      “All men are rapists and that’s all they are”—Marilyn French, Authoress; (later, advisoress to Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign.)

      “The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race.”—Sally Miller Gearhart, in The Future - If There Is One - Is Female.

      “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.”—Catherine MacKinnon

      The list goes on.

    • Duff says:

      11:48am | 29/03/11

      Paul, a “disease”?  Really.  Do you not know that homosexuality has been observed across many other species?  It is a perfectly normal expression of sexuality in many mammals, particularly our primate cousins.  Sure, a homosexual act does not lead to procreation, but the sexual drive is seperate and distinct from the act of making a baby.  Otherwise, why would we masturbate, perform oral or engage in any of the other mild variations on sex which we all regularly indulge in?

      Really, your foolishness screams loud and clear.  As does your obvious fear of homosexuals, which probably stems from internal sexual conflicts which you haven’t even begun to grapple with.

    • Paul Horn says:

      04:05pm | 29/03/11

      Oh Duff as Kerry Packer said “You only get one Alan Bond in a lifetime” but in my case I get heaps of fools like you.

      Every time we bang on about our unfettered inner city love for homosexuals we get the old “well animals practice it” tripe rolled out again and again. And I simply bash that argument out of existence with a simple retort! Chimpanzees violently exclude members of their group that indulge in this behaviour. You can’t have it both ways Duff (no pun intended)! 

      Do you really believe that sex was designed by nature to be completely separate from procreation?? Masturbation is simply comic relief to satifsy a sexual urge where a member of the opposite sex may not be available or willing to indulge in copulation for whatever reason. To use that as an excuse is simply laughable.

      And as for oral sex that is simply foreplay nothing less. It may be different for the inner city elite but I have never indulged in oral sex that has not led to full intercourse. In fact I have never been with a lady that demanded only Oral sex. All of them would have considered me very wierd indeed if it led to nothing else. Lesbians on the other hand, well that’s all they have. You don’t see married couples taking offence at the assumption that they will indulge in full intercourse when they only practice oral sex. 

      Your argument is null and void. Please look up foreplay!!!

    • jason says:

      12:46am | 31/03/11

      This is different from just disagreeing with the app, the app is wrong and misleading. You can’t cure homosexuality and to think so is misleading and trys to claim being gay is a disease. its wrong and therefore it should be blocked.


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