Apple removes iPhone app opposing gay marriage


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has deleted an iPhone application opposing gay marriage, in response to an online petition calling for its removal from the App Store. The application, dubbed Manhattan Declaration and described as a "call of Christian Conscience," was yanked from the App Store sometime over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend--originally introduced in October, the app advocated "the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty." Social activism website led the charge against the Manhattan Declaration app, launching an online petition calling the application "anti-gay" and "anti-choice" and encouraging Apple to remove it: "Apple needs to hear from concerned people now! Let's send a strong message to Apple that supporting homophobia and efforts to restrict choice is bad business," the petition said. reports that close to 8,000 members emailed Apple to protest the Manhattan Declaration application. "We removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people," Apple said in a statement. The Manhattan Declaration group's website states it will urge Apple to restore the app, and adds it has written to Apple CEO Steve Jobs to plead its case.

Apple finally published its App Store Review Guidelines in September, providing developers with rules and examples across a series of iOS software subjects like user interface design, functionality, content and technology restrictions. Offenses include apps deemed "defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm's way." The App Store Review Guidelines also address the inherent subjectivity of the approval process: "We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line," Apple states. "What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, 'I'll know it when I see it.' And we think that you will also know it when you cross it."

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