A Filipina former beauty queen who tweeted 'Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil' has apologised to the LGBT community.
Miriam Quiambao, who is Christian, tweeted last night: 'I'm sorry LGBT. Perhaps I was too harsh with the words I used. Will do my best to be more sensitive. #respect #nobodysperfect #grace'.
A row started after Quiambao spoke on the Filipino talkshow The Bottomline on Saturday night. She said: 'I'm not a pastor, I'm definitely not an expert but the way I understand it is homosexuality is not the one that makes you a sinner. Actually, sexual immorality is what makes you a sinner', as reported by ABS CBN.
Quiambao then elaborated on Twitter with: 'Hate the sin. Love the sinner. We have all sinned… Forgiveness comes from God. Grace comes to those who believe. Peace' and 'Homosexuality is not sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth.'
These comments prompted a chorus of defence of the Filipino gay community. Paulo Castro, a fashion stylist from Manilla tweeted: 'you are a living, breathing example, not of the truth of the love of christ, but of how religion can blind people'. Model Georgina Wilson tweeted: 'To all the gays/lesbians that have felt persecuted today: know that the world is a more beautiful place cuz of u guys'.
Quiambao, who came second in Miss Universe 1999, also attracted criticism in early April by weighing in on the debate around Canadian transsexual Jenna Talackova competing in the Miss Universe beauty pageant. She said: 'In my humble opinion, transgenders should not be allowed to join MissU because it's only for REAL women'.
Some found Quiambao's apology hollow after the cacophony of criticism of her views. Castro tweeted again: 'the fact that ur apologising for the "words I used" only means you still think the same, but will sugar coat next time'.