Eight-time world boxing star and Philippine Senate candidate Manny Pacquiao, who sparked a firestorm of criticism in the Philippines after describing gay couples as “worse than animals,” has on Tuesday apologized for his remarks but said he stood by his opposition to same-sex marriage.
37-year-old Manny Pacquiao, who is at the near end of a glorious decades-long boxing career, reinvented himself as a conservative Bible-bearing politician ahead of the country’s May elections, when he is running for a senate seat. In an interview posted on the TV5 network website earlier this week, he said;
It’s just common sense, Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?
Animals, he said, were better because they recognize gender differences, and…
if you have male-to-male or female-to-female (relationships), then people are worse than animals.
Pacquiao, a current member of Philippines’ House of Representatives, who is currently running for one of 12 seats in the country’s senate on Tuesday, quickly took to social media to apologize for his harsh comments after the LGBT community criticized his remarks.
In a video post on Instagram, Manny Pacquiao said;
I’m sorry for comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt.
He said he was not condemning homosexuals but was standing by his conservative Christian faith.
The truth from the Bible is what changed me from my old ways. (1 Corinthians 6:9 ); Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.
I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desires of the flesh.
I love you all with the love of the Lord. I am praying for you.
In a Facebook post, he also reiterated the same apologies;
I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt.
I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT.
I love you all with the love of the Lord. God bless you all and I’m praying for you.
Among those who reacted strongly to Pacquiao’s earlier remarks was the country’s most popular gay comedian, and TV host Jose Marie Viceral, known as Vice Ganda.
Vice Ganda, posted #PrayForMannyPacquiao to his 6.7 million followers on Twitter as he attacked the boxer;
Some people think they can judge people, like God, just because they’ve attended a prayer meeting and read the Bible.
The Senate needs experts on politics and law, not blind prophets.
Adding that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are humans, not animals. He said that they’re not saints, but that they’ll pray for the boxer, who is widely acclaimed for bringing his country honors.
Vice Ganda posted a picture of Pope Francis, suggesting that even the beloved leader of the Roman Catholic church does not condemn gays. He quoted the pope: “If a person is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Gay marriage is outlawed in the Philippines due to strong opposition from the Catholic Church and 80 per cent of the country’s 100 million people subscribe to the faith.
Gay marriages are officiated at small churches but these unions are not recognized by the church or the state.