Dec. 16, 2010 at 12:29 PM ET
Steve Jobs is now the target by a group angered by Apple pulling a pro-heterosexual marriage app from the App Store for the iPhone, with the group calling Jobs "Big Brother," and releasing a video that portrays Apple's CEO as sinister as Kim Jong-il.
"He's made billions taking on Big Brother," intones the narrator in the the video by the National Organization for Marriage, which says Apple supports apps with causes, "provided Jobs agrees with them ... like apps with the right to abortion and gay marriage," and then the camera pans across shots of apps in the App Store, including "Oh My Gay Stars — Gay Marriage in the US" and a voter guide by Planned Parenthood. But, says the narrator:
"A group representing hundreds of thousands of Christians developed an app to support life and traditional marriage, an approved app ... certified by Apple reviewers to contain no offensive material … what did Jobs do? He killed it and called those causes offensive … What’s happened over the years is that the iconic Steve Jobs has become the ironic Steve Jobs; he’s become Big Brother ... Tell Big Brother you won't be silenced."
The National Organization for Marriage is taking up for the "Manhattan Declaration" app and movement, which condemns same-sex unions. The app was yanked from the App Store recently after receiving petitions from gay rights activists who found it to be offensive.
The Manhattan Declaration group describes itself as "prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders, and scholars," which released the 4,700-word declaration in the "defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty" in November 2009. The iPhone app asks four questions of its users, including "Do you believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman?"
"Although Apple has not communicated directly with Manhattan Declaration officials, a public relations representative from Apple told media that the app violated Apple’s developer guidelines by being 'offensive to large groups of people' — despite the fact that Apple originally gave the app a 4+ rating for "no objectionable content,' " said Michelle Farmer, spokeswoman for the group behind the Manhattan Declaration.
Apple has declined to comment further on the app or the ugly tenor of the battle.
"Apple happily allows all kinds of apps for pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage groups, yet when Christians develop an app to support traditional marriage and life, it is called offensive and is pulled from the iTunes store," said Brian Brown, NOM's president, in a news release.
"What is offensive is that Steve Jobs has targeted Christians for discrimination and religious bigotry, censoring our basic right to speech. Steve Jobs has become Big Brother and we call on Christians across America to contact Jobs to express their outrage at his unfair, discriminatory decision. Apple should immediately restore the Manhattan Declaration app and apologize to all Christians for their actions."
Meanwhile, the Manhattan Declaration has resubmitted the app to Apple. And one of the most powerful gay rights groups in the country, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is urging Apple to stand firm, and for those against the app to sign an online petition.
"The 'Manhattan Declaration' calls gay and lesbian couples 'immoral,'it calls the recognition of their relationships 'false and destructive,' and claims that allowing them to be married will lead to 'genuine social harms,' " GLAAD says on its website.
"We need to let Apple know that no matter how strong the pressure they're hearing from anti-gay activists and no matter how many ads NOM puts out, they made the right decision."