Signers protest removal of Manhattan Declaration app from iTunes

Manhattan Declaration iphone app CNA US Catholic News 12 2 10

After Apple Inc. removed the Manhattan Declaration application from iTunes over complaints that it had offensive material, signers are urging the corporation to make it available again.

The Manhattan Declaration application for iPhones and iPads was dropped last month when the activist group gathered 7,000 signatures for a petition claiming that the application promoted “bigotry” and “homophobia.”

The Declaration – a Christian statement drafted in 2009 that supports religious liberty, traditional marriage and right to life issues –  has nearly 500,000 supporters.

The iPhone application, which was previously available for purchase on iTunes, was removed around Thanksgiving.

CNA contacted Apple Dec. 2 for the reason behind the pull. Spokesperson Trudy Muller said via phone that the company “removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

When asked if Apple plans to release additional statements on the matter, Muller said she had no further comment.

Manhattan Declaration organizers have started an online petition of their own, urging Apple to reinstate the application. On the site's blog, they explained that the application was initially accepted by Apple and rated as 4+, meaning it contained no objectionable material.

“Yet Apple pulled the app shortly after a small but very vocal protest by those who favor gay marriage and abortion,” they said.

“Anyone who takes the time to read the Manhattan Declaration can see that the language used to defend traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life, and religious liberty is civil, non-inflammatory, and respectful.”

Disagreement, they added, “is not 'gay-bashing.'”

Organizers said they have personally contacted Apple founder Steve Jobs and are awaiting a response. Their petition to reinstate the Manhattan Declaration application has over 24,000 signatures as of Dec. 2.


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