World boxing champion and congressmen in the Philippines’ House of Representatives Manny Pacquiao was barred from an LA TV show after making violent anti-gay comments in a magazine interview.
When a journalist from the National Conservative Examiner asked Pacquiao how he feels about US President Obama’s support of gay marriage, he said:
‘God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they 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 of Gomorrah of Old.’
He also quoted Leviticus 20:13, saying: ‘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.’
Pacquiao’s scheduled appearance on LA TV show Extra yesterday was cancelled because of his comments and he was barred from future performances. The shopping mall where the show is filmed, The Grove, issued a statement:
‘Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao we have made it be known that he is not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future. The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance.’
Pacquiao lives in LA but represents the southern province of Sarangani in the Philippines’ House of Representatives. Pacquiao has won half a dozen major world titles in boxing and has not yet retired. He was named the world’s fourth most influential athlete by Forbes this year.
Rick Jacobs of activist group Courage Campaign said that Pacquiao’s comments, which were republished on his blog, should lose him sponsorship.
‘I do think that American sponsors are going to have to look very carefully about whether they can continue to pour money into his apparently empty soul,” Jacobs said to LA Weekly. ‘That’s a really big step for a foreign elected official to take.’
ABS-CBN news reported that Pacquiao had experienced a renewal of his Catholic faith after winning a controversial fight last November. He stopped going out to nightclubs, gambling and drinking and ‘he and his wife are together all the time now’ said his trainer Freddie Roach.