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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 14, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 24
Psychotherapists condemn Gay 'cure' app available on Google
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Psychotherapists condemn Gay 'cure' app available on Google

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

According to All Out, a smartphone app appeared recently in the Google and Apple stores claiming to release users from the 'bondage of homosexuality' if they follow the app's 60-day plan. On May 29, All Out launched a campaign urging Google and Apple to drop the 'Setting Captives Free' app from their stores. On Wednesday, Gaylesta, the association of LGBTQ psychotherapists, issued a strong condemnation of so-called Gay 'cure' apps as dangerous to vulnerable minors' health and as a public health risk, joining the call for Google to drop the app.

The app claims, '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!'

'A PUBLIC HEALTH RISK'
Gaylesta's statement to Google reads as follows:

'Gaylesta has been outspoken and active in exposing the dangers of so called 'reparative therapy.' Homosexuality is not a condition or disorder that requires treatment. Striving to treat what is not a disorder is not therapy; it is professionalized homophobia. It is dangerous, and it is a threat to all LGBTQ people. Individuals who have undergone these treatments often have a significantly larger chance of becoming self-destructive and suicidal.

'It is unconscionable to think that a smartphone application could be made available to the general public to help 'treat' homosexuality. This app poses a serious public health risk, putting the lives of unsuspecting people, including minors, at risk of harm, by telling them that their innate sexual orientation is wrong and needs to be changed. We ask that all smartphone application stores (including Google Play and iTunes) remove these applications from their stores immediately and that they further make it a policy to disallow such applications from being available in the future. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.'

APPLE COMPLIES
'Major health associations including the American Psychiatric Association and the Pan-American Health Organization have condemned so-called Gay 'cures' as dangerous to people's' health,' said Andre Banks, executive director and co-founder of All Out. 'It is absolutely ridiculous we still have to have this conversation in 2013. Gay people have always been part of the human experience and they always will. There is not a cure for love, because love is not a disease. '

According to Joe Mirabella, spokesperson for All Out, the organization reported the app to Apple and Google through proper channels. Within 24 hours, the petition had 30,000 signatures and it was pulled from the Apple iTunes store, but it still appears in the Google Play store. The total is now approaching 150,000 signatures.

All Out has been working around the world to debunk so-called Gay cures. Most recently in Brazil, All Out launched a campaign to prevent the Conservative Christian Party from rolling back a law to prevent health care officials from using so-called 'reparative therapy' or Gay 'cures' in their practices.

'In 76 countries being LGBT is a crime; in 10 it is legal grounds for life imprisonment or execution,' the group says on its site. 'All Out is mobilizing millions of people and their social networks to build a powerful global movement for love and equality. Our mission is to build a world where no person will have to sacrifice their family or freedom, safety or dignity, because of who they are or whom they love.'

To see the live signature totals from All Out's petition, visit www.allout.org/gaycureapp.

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