Boxer Manny Pacquiao now says he apologizes, he does not hate gay people, and although he is against same-sex marriage, he does not condemn homosexuals. Pacquiao, the target of a poorly-crafted interview published at the Examiner, has had to fend of attacks the past few days after Granville Ampong wrote what appeared to many media outlets that the welterweight boxer had quoted Leviticus, and said that gay people “must be put to death.” As it turns out, Ampong inserted the Leviticus quote in a misguided and journalistically negligent attempt to illustrate Ampong’s position on the Bible.
After the paquiao interview appeared Saturday, USA Today, The Village Voice, and L.A. Weekly all reported Pacquiao had said gays must be put to death. USA Today, the first major outlet to report, did not update their story for several days, adding to the confusion.
Pacquiao was reportedly banned from The Grove, an L.A. mall, where he was slated to record an interview with Extra’s Mario Lopez, which was re-scheduled.
Karen Ocamb at LGBT POV reports:
Lopez taped the interview with Pacquiao (who apparently participated in a music video, the proceeds of which benefited LGBT youth) during which the boxer apologized for the confusion. This is from Extra (the whole interview airs tonight):
“I want to clarify that I didn’t say I wanted all gays put to death,” explained Pacquiao. “The reporter asked me a question. He said, ‘Obama is in favor of legalizing gay marriage and what’s your opinion?’ He asked me about my opinion and I told him my opinion that that I don’t agree, and I’m against same sex marriage, but I didn’t say that I’m condemning the gays because, you know, I have relatives. I have gay relatives and friends. That’s all I said to the reporter.”
What would the fighter like to say to the gay community now? “To the gay community, I apologize. I’m against same sex marriage, but I’m not condemning you. My favorite verse is ‘Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbor.’ So, I love everybody!”
In the portion of the Extra interview in this KNBC story, Pacquaio, who is also a legislator in the Philippines, notes:
“I didn’t say that, that’s a lie,” he said. “I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet.
“I’m not against gay people… I have a relative who is also gay. We can’t help it if they were born that way. What I’m critical off are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God.”
The fact remains that Pacquiao has come out against same-sex marriage and President Obama, and his comments, which are not in question, still are concerning. A few excerpts from Ampong’s original Examiner interview:
“God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man.”
“God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other.”
“It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.”
Pacquiao may “love everybody,” and claim to not want to “condemn” anyone, but the “God’s law” part still is concerning.
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