Google is under fire for allowing the sale of an app promoting gay conversion therapy on its Play Store which was already removed from Apple’s App Store.
Users are now petitioning the tech giant to have the app removed, citing the extreme harm caused by sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), Business Insider reported.
They say the app “brazenly compares homosexuality to an addiction” and “casually trashes LGBT people as living ‘destructive lifestyles.'”
“Living Hope, the creator of the app, repeatedly belittles transgender people as suffering from ‘gender confusion’,” the petition goes on to say.
The group’s previous petition to Apple to remove it from sale was successful when the company took down the app in December.
Living Hope Ministries’ app has also been removed from sale through both Amazon and Microsoft.
“Every moment that this app remains at Google’s online store, vulnerable LGBT teenagers can download it, so time is of the essence,” Truth Wins Out said.
Business Insider says that Play Store data shows the app has been downloaded over 1000 times since 2014.
“LHM proclaims a Christ-centered, Biblical world-view of sexual expression rooted in one man and one woman in a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage for life,” Living Hope’s website states.
“Anything less than this ideal, falls short of God’s best for humanity.”
The website also claims to offer “the largest, world-wide online support groups for men, women, families and friends impacted by same sex attraction.”
“We believe sexual and relational struggles are complex issues that are greatly impacted by a perceived relational wounding, and are likewise restored through vibrant, healthy and safe relationships rooted in obedience to Christ.”
But LHM says that the petition is “inaccurate” in describing the services they offer, despite their website indicating they ‘assist’ with “homosexuality, gender confusion, and sexual and relational brokenness”.
Last year, a report revealed the extent of conversion therapy’s presence in Australia, with at least ten organisations promoting SOCE in Australia and New Zealand, with ten per cent of Australian LGBT people still vulnerable to ex-gay and ex-trans therapies.
In December, Labor amended its national platform to acknowledge the harm done by SOCE, opting to “develop strategies to work with communities to prevent such harm and promote justice for LGBTIQ people affected by them” rather than criminalise the practice.
“We hope that the ALP will adopt the strategies in both the SOCE Survivor Statement and the Human Rights Law Centre report, including civil penalties for gay conversion delivered in a formal context,” SOCE survivor Chris Csabs said of the change.
Csabs has previously petitioned government ministers to outlaw the practices, garnering over 56,000 signatures.
He last year co-authored the SOCE Survivors Statement containing a list of recommendations to government and opposition MPs, which you can read by clicking here.