When I first saw this ad, I thought to myself, “This can’t be right.” So I did some investigation.
Chris Matyszczyk at CNET is reporting why the Manhattan Declaration app that promoted “traditional marriage” was banned:
The ad was made by the National Organization for Marriage. The organization is upset that an app called “The Manhattan Declaration” was first approved by Apple and then, as the ad so quaintly puts its, killed.
I have not enjoyed the distinction of perusing this app. However, Gawker reported that the only way you could “win” in this app’s game was to condemn gay marriage and abortion rights.
The Manhattan Declaration declares, in part: “marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society.” So, they created a game where the only way to “win” is to oppose same-sex marriage.
As a supporter of the right of same-sex couples to marry, I don’t like this app. That said, Apple should not have banned the app. It’s better to let people have their say, and then have the debate, and expose people for what they are. Does this help Apple, who appears to be cowering to pressure from pro-gay groups and is already under suspicion for their less-than-transparent procedure for approving apps in their app store? No.
Then again, while Apple is a business, and while good business practice dictates that a company should seek to make money from all sides/markets, it is good to see companies take a stand every once in a while and stick to what they believe. Jobs openly stated that he opposed and contributed money to defeating California’s 2008 Proposition 8, the measure that banned gay marriage, and which was later overturned by a California judge as unconstitutional. Ben and Jerry’s did the same thing: they rooted the core of their business model in their ethical beliefs, not simply in the pursuit of profit. And it is this kind of political/business stance that has made Apple a leader not only in product design and functionality, but a brand that people rally behind.
Here’s my proposed solution: Apple should reinstate the app, and then run a story on how many people download the app and use the app. They have that data anyways. In fact, someone should create an app that shows the names of people who download the Manhattan Declaration app. Prop 8 supporters are always so committed to their belief in discrimination against gay marriage, but, for some strange reason, never want anyone to know who they are. I’ll bet there could be an app for that. ;-)
Filed under: christianity, politics, technology, theology Tagged: | app store, apple, Chris Matyszczyk, CNET, controversy, gay marriage, ipad, iphone, ipod, manhattan declaration, National Organization for Marriage, steve jobs