March 24, 2011 | by Staff reports
National news in brief: March 25

Apple yanks ‘gay cure’ app

DENVER — An iPhone app critics called “hateful and bigoted” has been pulled by Apple, several media outlets reported this week.

The company as of Blade press time had not released a statement but on Tuesday pulled the app released by Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization that claims it can cure gays of unwanted same-sex desire.

According to Apple’s guidelines for app store submissions, “Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected.”

The “reparative therapy” offered by Exodus International’s counseling services has been rejected by most major medical organizations, including the American Psychological Association, as damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its patients.

An online petition against the app, organized by Change.org, has received more than 150,000 signatures since March 9 and coverage from major news websites and organizations.

Exodus says the iPhone application can help as an alternative to homosexuality not a “cure.”

Gay marriage ban remains in effect in Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. appeals court this week left in place a ban on gay marriage in California, denying requests to allow same-sex weddings during a lengthy appeals process, Reuters and other news outlets reported.

A federal district court judge last year struck down the ban on the basis that it violated the U.S. constitution, but his decision is on hold pending the appeal.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is waiting for California’s supreme court to issue guidance on whether a group supporting the ban had the right to make the appeal.

California’s decision will add a year or so to the federal appeal process, Reuters said.

Indiana takes further step to ban gay marriage

INDIANAPOLIS — State lawmakers in Indiana took another step Wednesday toward amending a gay marriage ban into Indiana’s constitution, the Evansville Courier & Press and other outlets reported this week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to one man and one woman, and would bar civil unions or other legal recognition of same-sex couples’ relationships, on a 7-3 vote. House Joint Resolution 6 has already cleared the House and now moves to the full Senate, where it is expected to pass with little resistance, the paper reported.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, noted the Senate has approved such a ban five times. In the past, it’s been blocked by Democratic majorities in the House. But Republicans now control both chambers.

“The basic unit of our society is our family, and I think the cornerstone of the family is the marriage of a man and a women and having children,” he said. “I think that is part of the main thrust of the whole idea here is to protect that unit that is basic to our society and all other societies.”

Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said he is concerned that banning civil unions will affect domestic partnership health benefits.

Lanane offered an amendment that addresses what he called the “troubling language of the resolution.”

He suggested Indiana take the middle road and say no to recognition of same-sex marriage, but recognize same-sex relationships with civil unions.

“I think Indiana should seek compromise in this situation,” he said. “Why shouldn’t we exercise some independent thinking in this regards?”

The constitutional amendment process requires the exact same language win the approval of both chambers of the General Assembly in two consecutive but separately elected legislatures. That means after this year’s votes, the House and Senate would have to approve the measure once again in either 2013 or 2014. If they do, voters would have the final say in a November 2014 referendum, the Press reported.

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