When Apple unveiled its iPhone and welcomed techies everywhere invent creative apps, they probably didn't anticipate they'd find themselves embroiled in a battled over abortion and gay rights. But the fight over the Manhattan Declaration app continues to intensify.
In November, a petition from Change.org pushed Apple to pull the app, a pledge that "speaks in the defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty," and calls on Christians to "adhere firmly to their family convictions."
The Christian group behind the app is now proposing an updated version they hope will be considered less controversial. Supporters of the app have also launched an ad campaign against Apple's "censorship," labeling Apple CEO Steve Jobs "Big Brother."
But opponents of the app -- including the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) -- are pledging to oppose any app which suggests homosexuality and abortion are immoral:
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.
GLAAD also warns that not removing the Manhattan Declaration app could be bad for business.
But blog site Gawker suggests that whatever Apple decides to do -- whether it will keep the new app or pull it like the last -- the company will inevitably anger some significant group of customers, but says "the company only has itself to blame."
CEO Steve Jobs designated the store as a place with "freedom from porn" and from risqué fashion spreads, illustrated gay literature, political caricature and other controversial content.
Now every time Apple approves an app, it implies moral endorsement of the content of that app. Rejections likewise carry an implied moral condemnation.
Gawker recommends Apple "support gay rights," but stresses that the company should "say it supports free speech." But because the company has set a precedent for determining what is and is not "appropriate" content, the app store will remain censored to some degree.
What say you? Should Apple play "moral traffic cop" with the apps available in its online store, or should the company maintain a firm 100-percent free speech stance?