A controversial iPhone application condemned by human rights organisations as being “anti-gay” as been pulled from Apple’s iTunes store.
The “Manhattan Declaration” app, created by a group of the same name, asks users yes or no questions:
1) Do you believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman?
2) Do you believe in protecting life from the moment of conception?
3) Do you support same-sex marriage?
4) Do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?
Users answering “yes” to the first two questions are encouraged to sign a declaration stating that “the impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture.”
After the app’s initial approval by Apple, a 7,000 strong online petition requested the company to remove it on grounds of being homophobic. Many consumers were surprised at Apple’s behaviour following their $100,000 donation in 2008 to preserve gay marriage rights in California.
The app’s makers, who are presently fighting to have it reinstated, maintain that there is “no offensive rhetoric” and simply restates the central moral teachings of Christian traditions.
Apple officials have released a statement saying the app had been pulled from the iTunes store due to violation of developer guidelines, which prohibit apps that are “offensive to large groups of people”.