A Russian man has launched a lawsuit against Apple because he claims his iPhone turned him gay.
The complainant, D. Razumilov, claimed he had ordered the cryptocurrency Bitcoin this summer via a smartphone app he downloaded onto his iPhone in 2017, however what arrived was GayCoin, a different type of cryptocurrency.
GayCoin and Bitcoin are both essentially an online version of cash.
In the suit, filed in a Moscow court on September 20, Razumilov said the GayCoin cryptocurrency arrived with a note saying ‘Don’t judge until you try.’ So he decided to follow its instructions.
According to a copy of the complaint seen by AFP, as per The Telegraph, the complainant wrote:
I thought, in truth, how can I judge something without trying? I decided to try same-sex relationships.
I can say after the passage of two months that I’m mired in intimacy with a member of my own sex and can’t get out.
Razumilov said he now has a steady boyfriend but he does not know how to explain the relationship to his parents. He added that after receiving the GayCoin message, his life has changed ‘for the worse and will never be normal again’.
While the GayCoin message might have encouraged Razumilov to experiment with his sexuality, it wouldn’t have ‘turned’ him gay. I’d like to think we’ve established being gay is a natural trait, rather than one that can suddenly be thrust upon you.
Though the alleged exchange of cryptocurrency and the accompanying message took place on a third-party app, the disgruntled man’s lawyer, Sapizhat Gusnieva, says Apple ‘has a responsibility for [its] programmes’.
Razumilov is seeking one million rubles (£12,500) from the company, claiming it ‘pushed [him] towards homosexuality through manipulation’, which in turn caused him ‘moral suffering and harm to mental health’.
Gusnieva insisted the case was ‘serious’, telling AFP her client ‘suffered’ and was ‘scared’.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993 but there is still a big stigma around the LGBTQ+ community. In 2013, the country banned what it described as ‘gay propaganda’ – namely the ‘promotion of non-traditional lifestyles to minors’.
The legislation essentially banned LGBTQ+ activism, and reports of rights violations and attacks on LGBTQ+ people are common.
Apple does not appear to have publicly responded to the lawsuit at the time of writing (October 4), however the court will hear the complaint on October 17.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.