Techland reports that Apple has pulled iTunes off of the "Christian Values Network." The network operates an online shopping portal, CVN.org, which "plugs you into a special online shopping network that helps your chosen organization just by shopping, without adding any additional cost to you" according to the site. Many big-name companies were indirectly associated with the site in this manner, including Apple.
Why has Apple chosen to withdraw its affiliate program from the site? According to Techland, the Southern Poverty Law Center has determined that many of the religious groups associated with the site are classified as "active hate groups." Family Research Council, for instance, is an active lobbyist against rights for LGBT individuals and insists that divorcing couples with children be subject to a one-year waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. Many other religious groups associated with CVN are active campaigners against homosexual rights.
Ben Crowther launched a petition to convince Apple to withdraw iTunes from CVN, and given Apple's past support for LGBT issues, it's not surprising Apple followed suit. However, in this case Apple isn't exactly blazing the trail; Microsoft withdrew its support from CVN two weeks earlier, and Wells Fargo, Delta Airlines, and Macy's did as well.
More than 35,000 people signed the petition, which began on July 5. I've often been skeptical of the utility of online petitions, but this one definitely got Apple's attention.
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