Ryan Songalia

Pacquiao: “I’m not against gay people”

Manny Pacquiao has spoken out in his own defense following accusations that he is homophobic, accusing the author of a controversial article of putting words in his mouth.

A recent article by Granville Ampong of Examiner.com wrote that the eight-division world champion Pacquiao considered same-sex marriage an “abomination”, though Pacquiao is never directly quoted in saying that. Ampong also cited the bible verse Leviticus 20:13, which states “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Due to the misleading phrasing of the writing, it appeared to some that Pacquiao endorsed the scripture.

Speaking from the same Palazzo Complex residence in Los Angeles where he gave the interview with Ampong, Pacquiao told GMA News that he never cited the scripture in question and that the author added that in himself.

“I never quoted a bible verse,” the Filipino congressman/boxer Pacquiao told GMA News following an evening Bible study in Los Angeles, where he is training to face undefeated junior welterweight champ Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand. “If I mentioned Bible verses, I couldn’t quote Leviticus because I’m focusing on the New Testament, not the Old Testament.”

Pacquiao further explains: “I was interviewed by someone but I don’t know what is his name. He asked me if Obama is promoting same sex marriage. I said I am not in favor of same sex marriage. He asked me ‘Why?’ I said that’s against the law of God. Of course, I have to obey first and follow the law of God before the law of man. Those were the only things that I said and I never said anything more.”

Ampong admits that Pacquiao did not utter the scripture in question, writing in his latest article, “Pacquiao never said nor recited, nor invoked and nor did he ever refer to such context.”

Ampong has yet to offer an apology in the public relations disaster, instead pointing the blame at what he calls “biased writers”. Ampong had also been accused in the past by the family of another Filipino champion Nonito Donaire Jr. of fanning the flames in their family issues.

Gay and Lesbian organizations in America had initially called for protests of Pacquiao and organized petitions to have Nike drop Pacquiao as a sponsor but withdrew their objections after the author came clean. Gay Marriage USA wrote, “the author’s writing was woefully misleading!”, while David Badash of the gay rights blog The New Civil Rights Movement wrote “Ampong, in addition to being a terrible writer, now is blaming other journalists for his poor journalism skills, which frankly is embarrassing and offensive.”

The upscale LA shopping plaza The Grove has not been as quick to make an about face, having not tweeted since banning Pacquiao from their facility, where he was supposed to do an interview with host Mario Lopez for the entertainment show “Extra”.

Despite being against the legalization of same-sex marriage, Pacquiao says that he does not hate gay people and that he has family members who are gay.

“I’m not against gay people. I have no issues about people being gay because it’s not their fault that they were born that way,” said Pacquiao.

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