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Manny Pacquiao denounces anti-gay allegations

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:04 p.m. HST, May 16, 2012

LOS ANGELES >> Manny Pacquiao says he loves and supports gays and lesbians, even though he does not approve of gay marriage.

The world champion boxer and Filipino congressman has been criticized ever since he gave an interview to the examiner.com website in which he opposed President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage.

Pacquiao said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press that he doesn't support gay marriage because of his Roman Catholic beliefs. But he said he has gay friends and relatives, and supports their rights.

"I'm not against the gay people," Pacquiao said. "I'm not condemning them. ... I have a cousin (who is) gay. I have relatives (who are) gay. I have a lot of friends (who are) gay, so I'm not condemning gays. What I said is I'm not in favor of same-sex marriage. That's the one thing I said to the guy.

"I told (the reporter) I'm against same-sex marriage," Pacquiao added. "He said, 'Why?' I said, 'It's the law of God.' That's all I said."

The examiner.com story contained a Bible passage calling for the death of "a man (who) lies with a man," and Pacquiao said many readers erroneously believed he had quoted that verse.

He said he had not.

"My favorite verse in the Bible is 'Love one another,' and 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself,'" Pacquiao said. "It's in the Bible: Do not judge. I'm not judging."

Pacquiao was banned from a popular Hollywood shopping mall after the article was publicized Tuesday, and an online petition encouraging sponsor Nike to drop Pacquiao received 4,868 signatures before it was suspended Wednesday morning. The petition site, change.org, posted a note saying that the author of the original article had clarified that Pacquiao didn't cite the Bible passage.

Pacquiao spoke to the AP next to his pool at his comfortable Los Angeles home, where the congressman lives while training for fights at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. The champion had the day off from training, spending the morning in medical exams before a big lunch and some relaxation.

Although Pacquiao is experiencing a newfound passion for his religion and has socially conservative views in line with many Filipinos' beliefs, he was eager to clear his name after a 24-hour avalanche of criticism over the belief that the eight-division world champion boxer had denounced gay rights and even supported the killing of gay people.

The expansive Los Angeles mall knows as The Grove, where the syndicated entertainment-news show "Extra" films its episodes, wouldn't allow Pacquiao to film a segment on its premises. Host Mario Lopez said The Grove had lifted its ban Wednesday, shortly after change.org suspended the petition to Nike, but his crew still planned to film its interview with Pacquiao at the fighter's home instead.

Pacquiao chuckled at the knowledge that his words — even words he said he didn't say — carry more weight than those of an average athlete because of his political aspirations.

"With great power comes great responsibility, so that's my responsibility, to handle everything," Pacquiao said. "This has happened before. You have to explain and understand. It's a lot more fun to train (for a fight)."

Pacquiao is the Philippines' most famous person and one of the world's most popular athletes. The eight-division world champion is a movie star, singer, pitchman and congressman, representing the Sarangani province in the Philippines' House of Representatives since May 2010.

He has won 16 consecutive fights since March 2005, beating Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito. He will defend his WBO welterweight title against Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao has embraced Catholicism in recent months after marital trouble with his wife, Jinkee. Although he has always attended Mass before his fights, the boxer has taken up frequent Bible study, and he traveled from the Philippines to the U.S. in the company of a spiritual adviser and pastor, Jeric Soriano, now a regular presence in Pacquiao's life in Los Angeles and the Philippines.

"It's difficult sometimes, but God gave me a talent," Pacquiao said. "He gave me a wisdom and a knowledge."

Although Pacquiao has some conservative social views, he also has ties to progressive American politicians, including Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. The boxer campaigned for the Democratic majority leader during his tough re-election victory over Sharron Angle in 2010.

Pacquiao also visited Obama at the White House last year, discussing basketball and boxing. The fighter says he enjoyed meeting Obama, but didn't share his views on same-sex marriage.

Pacquiao is the fourth of six children born into poverty in the Philippines, and he has four children of his own with his wife. He has spoken out against birth control during his political career, affirming his Roman Catholic beliefs.

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busterb wrote:
I don't believe you Manny. The only thing you can do to convince me is to knock the living hanabuttah out of Mayweather. Then I can believe you again!
on May 16,2012 | 03:09PM
8082062424 wrote:
Sad that america become a place you cant not have your own view,
on May 16,2012 | 03:30PM
news333 wrote:
So if my view is that you should die, then it is ok since we are in America?
on May 17,2012 | 03:26AM
8082062424 wrote:
First he never said that. second that from the bible . The one thing he said was he dose not support gay marriage. which he has every right to that view. same as you have right to yours
on May 17,2012 | 06:28AM
soshaljustic wrote:
Too bad he does not believe in the other things humanity created besides religions and gods/goddesses, such as the ideological belief system of equality. If only to give the ultimate judgement away and let his God sort it all out. tsk tsk
on May 16,2012 | 04:50PM
Changalang wrote:
Would you rather call Manny g a y; or anti-g a y to his face? Best to wear the headgear.
on May 16,2012 | 04:56PM
poidragon wrote:
The words came from his own mouth, no one else to blame, Manny! Consider this, if god loves the world, how then would he procrastinate against gays and lesbians? Besides don't believe everything the Roman Catholic Church tells you, they are the worst religious order that holds so many secrets that it would blow your mind away and make you an atheist!
on May 16,2012 | 06:40PM
Changalang wrote:
Ah man; you just stepped on my joke. However, your statements are true and correct. The Roman Catholic Church was the means for a Roman Emperor Constantine to organize and rise to ultimate power via the Council of Nicea. The Church-State relationship was mutually beneficial, and still is today as the Vatican is its own City State in Rome. On a separate note; " Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. " (John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton {1907} )
on May 16,2012 | 07:10PM
8082062424 wrote:
the bible dose not belong to the Catholic Church . It belongs to a lot people of faith that fall under many names.And if he chooses to believe in that it his right, Just as it yours not to believe in it. since when is it a crime to have your own beliefs. it get real old that any one who not on there side is called names. and made to be some kind of animal
on May 16,2012 | 07:14PM
bigislandkurt wrote:
Mumbo jumbo.
on May 16,2012 | 09:26PM
mokebla wrote:
There is a God, and he blessed man with a choice, For some reason man thinks he made a mistake in creating man and woman. What ever pluming or sex you came into this world with wasn't a mistake, you choice think he did. Everything he created was good, it was man thinking that wasn't good. Selah~
on May 17,2012 | 04:27AM
juke wrote:
The Bible does not condemn a person for having same-sex attraction/homosexuality, but rather only the act of homosexual behavior.
on May 17,2012 | 10:10AM
juke wrote:
Is practicing homosexuality a sin? It's in the Bible, Leviticus 18:22, TLB. "Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin."
on May 17,2012 | 10:13AM
kuewa wrote:
You are quoting from the "Living Bible" which is an altered wording/interpretation of the King James Bible and derivatives. However, this passage in King James was almost certainly a mistranslation from the Hebrew text, which itself is probably not the original text. The Hebrew text almost certainly did not refer to homosexuality as we know it today. Some scholars trace the wording to refer to a prohibition against male temple prostitutes, while others argue that it refers to male-male (but not female-female) relationships, but only in Israel. It has always seemed strange to me that people constantly use the Bible to justify their bigotry and persecution of others without realizing that whichever version of the Bible that they are quoting has been repeatedly edited, reinterpreted and purposely altered often for those very purposes.
on May 17,2012 | 02:50PM
51butterflies wrote:
Manny need not fear anything human, like publicly claiming his belief in the ONLY ALMIGHTY, LOYAL,SAVIOUR, if this be his true heart. Leaders of this world who trod into what is GOD'S business,' leaders 'who go against what is clearly witten in the Bible, are 'waging war with God.' More of us, must speak out frequently, consistently, loudly and courageously, not against our fellow man, but most definitely against what our 'leaders' say and do' , especially when it involves what is God's business and what is in the Bible.
on May 17,2012 | 10:28AM
roadsterred wrote:
Nothing like being found guilty for something you never said.
on May 17,2012 | 10:50AM
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