Since then, the folk behind the (Manhattan D)eclaration thought it would be a good idea to create an iPhone app which allows users to read and sign the declaration, and share it with others. The app was duly created and released in the iTunes App Store, with a rating of 4+, meaning “no offensive content”.
This drew criticism from many campaigners who believe that the declaration is “anti-gay”, in that it denies gay marriage is legitimate and describes gay sex as “immoral”and “wayward”. This drew the attention of a number of leading tech and other publications in the US, and a campaign of writing to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a petition emerged.
The latest news is that the app has disappeared from iTunes. The Manhattan Declaration people say on their website that they are “perplexed”. However, it is known that Apple has previously supported gay equality charities, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
No, it shouldn’t, sad to say. I think that Apple is simply wrong to do this, and hope they reverse their decision. But as regular readers know my position on the Declaration itself is complicated:
- I don’t like the Manhattan Declaration and don’t support it. One reason is that the Declaration, like so many conservative Christian statements on the subject, conflates civil with ecclesiastical marriage, which I think is a mistake. I think that civil marriage needs to be abolished and the Declaration is yet another missed opportunity to seize the initiative on this.
- Marriage as a divine union of one man and woman is certainly foundational; the Church Mouse blogger is not correct on this. It’s not an accident that Jesus, in defining Christian marriage, went back to the Creation for his position. And that’s foundational.
But, as long as causes well represented in the upper socio-economic strata have pull, these things will happen.