Google has been blasted for continuing to feature an app that encourages LGBTQ people to have “dangerous” conversion therapy.
Living Hope Ministries, the creator of the app, refers to transgender and gay people as “sexually broken” individuals who can “walk out of false identities.”
The US Christian group claims the “gay lifestyle is spiritually and physically harmful” and advises gay people to become heterosexual through prayer and therapy.
Despite Apple, Microsoft and Amazon acting swiftly to remove the “sickening” app from their online stores, it is still available on Google.
Campaign against “hate”
Truth Wins Out, an LGBT organization that campaigns against anti-gay religious extremism, has amped up pressure on Google to take down the “hate app.”
In a change.org petition, which had attracted more than 39,000 signatures at the time of writing, Truth Wins Out says the app “deliberately singles out LGBT people for bigotry and ridicule.”
“Every moment that this app remains at Google’s online store, vulnerable LGBT teenagers can download it, so time is of the essence,” the organization states.
“The surprising silence from Google is in stark contrast with the corporation’s stated policies of inclusion, respect and diversity. So why hasn’t the company taken action?
“Why is Google offering a platform for such a mean-spirited and dangerous product?”
Campaigners also voiced concerns over the impact “ex-gay” programs can have on young people, sometimes leading to “anxiety, depression and self-destructive behavior.”
They say the app falsely portrays being gay as an “addiction,” “sickness” and “sin.”
Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said he hopes it is an oversight by a large company, rather than an “objectionable policy decision.”
Google’s figures show that the app has been downloaded over 1,000 times since its launch in 2014.
The app gives users access to various podcasts, articles and devotionals that all promote its ex-gay programs and anti-gay messages.
One of the podcast episodes features a mom talking about how her family reacted when their teenage son came out as gay.
On its website, Living Hope Ministries says: “We pray this app will be an encouragement to you as you seek a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”
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