A new phone app that promises to reveal to parents whether their son might be gay by asking a series of twenty questions has been criticized as homophobic and caricatured.

"/> A new phone app that promises to reveal to parents whether their son might be gay by asking a series of twenty questions has been criticized as homophobic and caricatured.

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‘Is my son gay?’ app stirs up anger

A new phone app that promises to reveal to parents whether their son might be gay by asking a series of twenty questions has been criticized as homophobic and caricatured.

'Is my son gay?' app stirs up anger
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The app, called “Mon fils est-il gay?” (Is my son gay?), is on the Google-owned Android system. It asks questions including “does he like football?”, “does he like to dress well?”, “is he a fan of music divas?” and “does he spend a long time in the bathroom?”

For €1.99 ($2.60), parents are given one of two responses to, what the app calls, “the question you have been asking for perhaps too long”.

“You have nothing to worry about, your son is not gay” is the first response. “You have a very good chance of being a grandmother with all the joys that brings.”

The second response is less joyful. “Your son is gay. Accept it and know it’s not his choice” it says.

“This is an idiotic and odious tool, with caricatured questions,” said Louis-Georges Tin of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) association, reported Le Figaro. “If the child is gay, it’s a catastrophe, if not, relief.” 

SOS Homophobie, the French group that campaigns for gay rights, said it was “amazing to see such a list of clichés in 2011, as if there was just one way to be gay.”

The organisation’s president, Bartholomé Girard, told newspaper Le Parisien he was “aghast.” He was particularly incensed that the test implied that to be homosexual was a “defect.”

“The ideal response would be that it doesn’t matter if your son is gay or straight,” he said, “the only thing that counts is that he is happy.”

Google France said that the app was “in the process of being reviewed by our teams.”

“Applications are not filtered before being published on Android Market,” a spokesperson told AFP. 

Newspaper Le Parisien reported that the app’s makers said it was designed to be “humorous.”

“It’s based on the principle that certain behaviours, social and family contexts can sometimes determine or reveal a hidden homosexuality,” they said. They added that as well as being fun, the app was designed to “play down the situation and help mothers to accept the homosexuality of their sons.” 

The controversial app comes just ten days after Apple withdrew the “Jew or Not Jew” app, which provided information about whether some 3,500 people from various walks of life were Jewish or not.

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OBAMA

Obama to hold talks with Hollande in Russia

The Syria crisis looks likely to top the agenda at this week's G20 meeting in Russia. The White House announced on Wednesday that US President Barack Obama will hold crucial talks with President Fran├žois Hollande during the summit.

Obama to hold talks with Hollande in Russia
Obama and Hollande set to discuss Syria in Moscow this week. Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP

US President Barack Obama will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of France and China on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Russia, a White House official said Wednesday.

"While in Russia for the G20, the President will hold bilateral meetings with President Xi (Jinping) of China and President [François] Hollande of France," the official said, ahead of the summit likely to be dominated by the crisis in Syria.

Although no formal bilateral meeting was planned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, "we would expect the two presidents to have an opportunity to speak on the margins of the various meetings of the G20," the official said.

Putin has been a vocal critic of the West's policies on Syria and has expressed strong doubt that the Syrian regime was behind an alleged chemical attack on August 21st that has prompted the plan for US-led military action.

The G20 summit comes at a time of increasingly tense relations between Washington and Moscow after the US cancelled a planned bilateral summit in Moscow due to the row over US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The Kremlin, peeved by the snub, said there was no time to pencil in a summit bilateral with the US leader at the G20.

China, a veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council, has said it is opposed to "bilateral military action" in Syria and has called for a "political solution" to the crisis.

In contrast, Hollande has urged France's European Union partners to unite in response to the Syria crisis, as Paris pushes for punitive military strikes against the regime.

The annual meeting of the world's top 20 developed and emerging nations kicks off on Thursday in Saint-Petersburg.

The host nation is hoping to push forward an agenda to stimulate growth but world leaders are bound to be distracted by divisions on the prospect of US-led military action in Syria.

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