When Apple removed the anti-gay 'Manhattan Declaration' iPhone app from its store, it sent a powerful message that the company does not support bias. The original app featured an electronic version of the oath, through which users could pledge to "make whatever sacrifices are required" to oppose marriage equality, even, presumably, if that means breaking the law. The 'Manhattan Declaration' asks people to vow not to "bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth." This application calls gay and lesbian couples "immoral," it calls the recognition of their relationships "false and destructive," and claims that allowing them to be married will lead to "genuine social harms." The original application also contained a quiz in which the "right" answers were those that oppose equality for gay and lesbian people.
Apple did the right thing in recognizing that these types of hurtful attitudes violate the company's developer guidelines by "being offensive to large groups of people."
The makers of the application say they have removed the quiz and will resubmit the application. But simply removing the quiz does nothing to address the underlying problem, which is that this application tells people to pledge to oppose equality for gay and lesbian couples.
Tell Apple to stay strong in the face of pressure to reinstate this application – and to stand behind its commitment to keep these hurtful attitudes out of its app store.
For more information, see www.glaad.org/tellapple
- Teresa Brewer
- Natalie Kerris
- PR Department
- Jason Roth
- Tom Neumayr
I want to thank you for your decision to remove the hurtful "Manhattan Declaration" app from your online iTunes and iPhone stores. This application asks users to pledge to oppose equality for gay and lesbian couples and to not "bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships."
The application calls gay and lesbian couples "immoral," it calls the recognition of their relationships "false and destructive," and claims that allowing them to be married will lead to "genuine social harms." Simply removing the introductory quiz does nothing to make this application more acceptable.
Your own guidelines implore you to not accept any application that is "offensive to large groups of people." I support your earlier recognition that this application violates those guidelines, and I urge you to stand by that decision.
Thank you for your time,
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