the truth about apple’s banning of manhattan declaration ‘traditional marriage’ app

Manhattan Project ad smearing Apple CEO Steve jobs for not approving an ap that promotes 'traditional marriage' only.

Manhattan Declaration ad smearing Apple CEO Steve jobs for not approving an app that promotes 'traditional marriage' only.

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. ;-)

9 Responses

  1. Bob – I agree there should be free speach and I also am sad about this . I would like to ask you
    – were you brought up in a traditional ChrIstian family ?

  2. that’s the point, charles: how do you describe a ‘traditional christian family’? please tell me what a ‘traditional christian family’ looks like, and i’ll happily answer your question. -bc

  3. Oh come on Cargill, you know what a “traditional Christina family” looks like. Dad is exactally 6’2″ tall with blond hair and blue eyes. Broad shoulders and a welcoming smile. He exudes confidence (cause he knows he is in good with God) and benevolence. Mom is exactally 5’7″ tall with peaches-and-cream-All- American girl beauty. She is happy just to be married to Dad, to whom she has dedicated her life. They have two lovely blond haired children also with blue eyes. They have a Negro house keeper, a Mexican gardner, a Chinese laundress, and a Native American newspaperboy. They are such good traditional Christians that they even speak to their neighbors the Goldstines’ who are Jewish…and who they will someday convert to Christianity

  4. I thought there must be more to the story than the video let on. Actually I think that it is quite offensive to create a game that is nothing more than a propaganda machine. I would hope that they would do the same on both sides of the issues that it takes a stand on.

  5. I wonder if they have anything like “divorce is always wrong and never acceptable”.

    I doubt it. After all, many in their target market have probably had divorces, or want to be free to get divorced in the future. On the other hand, their target market probably isn’t interested in getting a same-sex marriage.

    (Anyway, supporting ‘traditional marriage’ by opposing gay marriage strikes me as being like supporting ‘marriage in America’ by opposing ‘marriage in Lithuania’. They’re completely separate issues. If you want to support traditional marriage, *support traditional marriages*, by opposing divorce.)

  6. The whole point of supporting traditional marriage by opposing gay marriage isn’t about politics, reasoning or even common sense. It is really about the human/societal need to have someone to look down on, a societal scapegoat, an individual or group who represents the worst of the worst. On this person or group all individual and collective sins are hung thus leaving the finger pointers feeling better about who we/I are/am.

    The reasoning is simple to the point of being primitive: “Traditional marriage good. Gay marriage bad.” This translates into “God loves me more than you cause I am in a traditional marriage and hates you because you are in a gay marriage.” Even if I have cheated on my spouse at least it isn’t as bad as being gay. I call it the “degrees of sin” syndrome. It goes like this, “I may be doing this but AT LEAST I’m not doing that like those people, so I’m not so bad. There I feel better about myself already.”

    This lays the foundation for FEAR BASED REASONING. Look at the results of Prop #8 in what is supposed to be one of the most progressive states in the union. Fear mongering worked pretty well especially when you keep the reasoning simple and remember the golden rule:

    Most supporters of traditional marriage don’t’ want to look too closely at their institution because it would mean having to see themselves in their neighbors eyes. Much easier to
    finger point and rabble rouse than to self diagnose and work on ones self (in both the singular and plural sense).

    Try Andrew Sullivan’s’ book Virtually Normal, he deals with the subject of gay marriage in a very comprehensive and insightful manner considering when it was written it almost seems prophetic.


  7. n fact, someone should create an app that shows the names of people who download the Manhattan Declaration app.

    Dr Cargill, this is called the “Let Bubba Do It” tactic. Remember when Focus on the Family published the names & addys of abortion doctors and one of them got shot? Or the anti-Prop 8 group that published as many names addresses and stalker-helpful details of Pro-Prop 8 contributors as they could get their hands on?

  8. no, i’m not calling for vigilante justice, i just think that if you’re going to vote to deny someone else a privilege you enjoy, you ought to stand behind it. congressmen and women have to vote in their own name. methinks if the public had to do that, we’d not have a ban gay marriage. anonymity makes people do and say stupid things sometimes

  9. My name is Robert A. Palculict and live in Booneville Arkansas as a Youth/Education Minister and I oppose Prop 8.


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