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Apple Removes App Accused of Promoting Conversion Therapy

Living Hope Ministries

Truth Wins Out has won its battle to remove an app accused of promoting conversion therapy from the Apple Store.

The national LGBTQ group had launched a petition Thursday demanding that Apple remove the "bigoted and hateful app" developed by Living Hope Ministries, a self-described "Christian ministry for sexual wholeness" based in Arlington, Texas.

The app, Truth Wins Out claimed, was targeting LGBTQ young people in order "to change [them] from gay-to-straight through prayer and therapy." It had been available to download on the platform for three years.

Conversion therapy is the discredited practice of trying to change a person's sexual orientation. Although it has been condemned as harmful by the American Psychiatric Association, only 15 U.S. states have banned conversion therapy.

On Friday, a day after the petition launched with only 356 signatures, Apple removed the app from its store, a move that was hailed in a statement from Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen. 

"We thank Apple for exemplifying corporate responsibility and taking swift action to remove a dangerous app that stigmatizes and demeans LGBT people," Besen said in a Friday statement. "Ex-gay programs are consumer fraud and cause significant harm to the people they purport to help."

Ricky Chelette, who helms Living Hope Ministries, told The Dallas Morning News that he would contest Apple's decision to remove the app. 

"I don't know why they would have taken it down," Chelette said. "We'll obviously appeal to them to reinstate it."

It appears from a broken link that Microsoft has removed the app as well. But the app is still available to download from Google and Amazon. Besen told The Dallas Morning News that Truth Wins Out will also be fighting for its removal from those platforms.

"Every minute this heinous product is available on these platforms, the potential exists for it to harm LGBT youth," Besen said. "We demand that Google and Amazon immediately stop selling and promoting this app, which dehumanizes LGBT people."

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