A controversial app for Android smartphones that purported to help mums 'calculate' if their sons were gay has been pulled by Google, the developers say.
By
Lisa Zilberpriver

4 Oct 2011 - 1:29 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 9:20 AM

A controversial app for Android smartphones that purported to help mums 'calculate' if their sons were gay has been pulled by Google, the developers say.

'Is My Son Gay' was released early last week, causing an uproar on Twitter and a host of online responses that slammed it for being homophobic and relying on stereotypes.

The app posed 20 questions, including 'does he care about how he dresses?' and 'does he read the sport pages?'. It then offered three results; 'gay', 'normal and modern' and 'not gay'. The last option assured mothers they 'did not have to worry' because they would have grandchildren.

On Monday, the app page was no longer available on Android Market. A representative of the company that developed it, Emmene-moi, told SBS that Google had pulled it from the site unilaterally.

Google has declined to comment.

Android Central, a website that offers news and reviews on Google and Android products, was quick to distance itself from the app after a barrage of tweetes erroneously blamed it for the app.

"Demand that @Google & @AndroidCentral dump homophobic "Is My Son #Gay?" app NOW, no excuses! #LGBT," the tweets said.

"We do not have the power to remove (or approve, for that matter) applications for the Android Market. That's Google. We're not Google. We're not Android ... We('ve) suggested more effective ways for letting Google you found the app was offensive, such as flagging it as inappropriate in the Market. We're willing to bet more than a few of you did so," responded site editor Phil Nickinson.

There are various 'gay calculators' still available on the Android Market site, including 'R U Gay Quiz' and the 'Gaydar Radar' that claims to establish homosexuality by taking a picture of a person. However, unlike 'Is My Son Gay?' both apps explain upfront that they are jokes.

Christophe de Baran, who commissioned the development of the app issued a statement last week, urging people to 'focus on the right fight' and saying the app was developed 'with a fun approach'.

"(The app) does not rely on any scientific element. It relies on the fact that some behaviours, some family and social environments are often met among gay people. No more. No less," the statement said.

"To what extent would it be a problem for a mother to know if her son is gay?' de Baran, who is himself gay, asked in the statement.

"If the answer is no (problem), then this application should not upset anyone. We can see it is not the case..." he said.

"The application and the upcoming novel (in French) "Is my son gay?", from a gay writer, use fun and humor to talk about difficult moments for families to go through, such as coming out," the developers told SBS.

De Baran refused to talk to the press last week, but SBS has contacted him again to respond to the axing of the app.