By Michal Ortner
Boxer Manny Pacquiao recently made headlines because of his statement regarding gay relationships. According to the athlete, gay couples are “worse than animals.” After receiving widespread criticism from the people of the Philippines where he is running for a seat in the senate, the 8-time world boxing champion issued an apology for the comparison to animals.
On the campaign trail, Pacquiao said, “It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?
“The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homos*xuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. God Bless!” he wrote on his Instagram and Twitter on February 16.
The post received nearly 3,000 retweets and 3,678 likes.
One Twitter follower, Kay Den, commented, “Don’t apologize for being normal.”
However, another commented, “Is it normal to spout opinions that aim to hurt a minority? Opinions rooted in ignorance & misinformation must be condemned.”
Though Pacquiao has apologized for the comparison, he reminds his followers and possible voters that his stance on same gender relationships has not changed.
“But this does not change my position against same s*x marriage. That’s what I believe. My only mistake is comparing gay people to animals,” he stated.
“The LGBT is a group of people,” Vice Ganda, a popular comedian in the Philippines, posted for his 6.7 million Twitter followers to see. “We are humans. But not animals. Though we’re no saints we will pray for Manny Pacquiao.”
“I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desires of the flesh,” wrote the boxer prior to his public apology. “I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says. The truth from the Bible is what changed me from my old ways.”
Pacquiao also referenced 1 Corinthians 6:9, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the s*xually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have s*x with men.”
In the Philippines, gay marriage does take place, but it is not legally recognized by the church or state. It is considered the most Catholic portion of Asia with around 70 million who claim to be part of that faith.