Google has come under fire for featuring an app that encourages gay people to seek controversial conversion therapy in its online store.
The app, created by US Christian group Living Hope Ministries, advises young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teenagers and adults to become heterosexual through prayer and therapy. The app also offers Bible study-style guidance.
The Texas-based Christian group is accused of referring to transgender and gay people as “sexually broken” individuals who can “walk out of false identities”, and claiming that the gay lifestyle is harmful.
Campaigners have claimed that the app falsely portrays being gay as an “addiction”, “sickness” and “sin”.
Activist group Truth Wins Out started a petition online earlier this month demanding that Google remove the app from its online store. The petition has so far collected over 36,000 signatures.
The activist group said: “By any standard, the app is awful. It brazenly compares homosexuality to an addiction. It casually trashes LGBT people as living ‘destructive lifestyles’.”
Google has been accused of “foot-dragging” after it failed to follow the lead from Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, which removed this app from their online stores last month after being approached about it.
Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said that it is “unconscionable” that Google is still offering an online platform to this app.