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Apple adds gay and lesbian icons to iOS 6 messaging

Let the "homosexual agenda" fear-mongering begin

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Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Apple's next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 6, will include oh-so-cute 'n' cuddly gay and lesbian emoji couples for your texting and emailing enjoyment.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The two hand-holding couples are nestled among their heterosexual brothers and sisters – although, for reasons we at The Reg cannot divine, they do not possess the happy smiles adorning the faces of the girl-boy couple. Perhaps they are dismayed at the unequal treatment they receive from US federal tax code.

Emojis from Apple's beta of iOS 6

What? No over-60, overweight techie emoji? Your Reg reporter feels marginalized (source: TechCrunch)

Emojis, first popularized in Japan, are tiny icons used to spice up messages. Successors to emoticons – such as the ever-popular ;) said by some to have been invented by Abraham Lincoln – emojis were added to iOS in version 5, which debuted in a somewhat bumpy launch last October.

You'll have to wait for iOS 6 to get the gay and lesbian couple emojis, but if you want to explore those available on your iOS 5–equipped device today, navigate to Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Keyboard, and select Emoji.

In the lower-left of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch's keyboard will appear a button with a globe icon. Tap that, and the available emojis will appear, from the traditional happy faces to cutesy piggies to graduation caps to hospital buildings.

Apple iOS keyboard with International Keyboard mode enabled

In addition to emojis, that globe-icon button can provide access to 55 additional languages

No mouthless gay and lesbian folks, though – for them, you'll have to wait until iOS 6 ships this fall. And when it does, we would not at all be surprised to hear of Apple-product boycotts by such anti-gay and -lesbian groups as the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, and the counterintuitively named Liberty Counsel – let alone from überwhackjob and publicity hound Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church (NSFSB*). ®

* Not Safe For Sentient Beings

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