This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
Advertisement

Manny Pacquiao apologises after comments that gay couples are 'worse than animals'

The boxer was speaking ahead of May elections in the Philippines.

Manny Pacquiao was speaking ahead of elections in the Philippines.
Manny Pacquiao was speaking ahead of elections in the Philippines.
Image: Frank Franklin II/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 11.30am

EIGHT-TIME WORLD boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has apologised after sparking a firestorm of criticism in the Philippines by describing gay couples as “worse than animals”.

Nearing the end of a glorious decades-long boxing career, the 37-year-old is reinventing himself as a conservative Bible-bearing politician ahead of the country’s May elections, when he is running for a senate seat.

“It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female,” Pacquiao told local broadcaster TV5 in an interview aired earlier this week.

“If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.”

However, earlier today, the boxer apologised via Twitter:

I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. God Bless!

Gay marriage is outlawed in the Philippines due to strong opposition from the Catholic Church and 80 percent of the country’s 100 million people subscribe to the faith.

Gay marriages are officiated at small churches but these unions are not recognised by the church or the state.

The country’s most popular gay comedian, Vice Ganda, posted #PrayForMannyPacquiao to his 6.7 million followers on Twitter as he tore at the boxer.

“Some people think they can judge people like God just because they’ve attended a prayer meeting and read the bible,” he said.

“The Senate needs experts on politics and law, not blind prophets,” Vice Ganda added.

Singer Aiza Seguerra, who recently married her actress-girlfriend, called on voters to boycott Pacquiao, who is also preparing for his last boxing fight in April, calling him an “ignorant, bigoted hypocrite”.

“You might have done our country proud but with your statement, you just showed the whole country why we shouldn’t vote for you,” Seguerra said in a post on Instagram.

Philippines Pacquiao The boxer turned politician is revered in his home country. However, his comments have sparked criticism. Source: Aaron Favila

Pacquiao gave the television interview as part of his campaign for one of 12 seats in the nationally-elected senate.

The most recent surveys suggest he would win.

He currently represents his wife’s impoverished home province of Sarangani in the House of Representatives and is notorious for his chronic absences, favouring boxing training over legislation.

In one of the rare times he spoke at the legislature, Pacquiao quoted heavily from the Bible as he vigorously sought to stop a proposed law, since passed, granting free condoms to the poor.

He credits his renewed Christian faith for transforming him from a free-spending womaniser and gambler into a devoted family man who can recite Bible verses.

“Outside the boxing ring, I don’t think Manny Pacquiao should be taken seriously. It struck me first as funny. I pity him,” Kakay Pamaran, a pastor at one of Manila gay churches, told AFP.

“I would advise him to talk to more LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual and transgender) persons, meet them and not just reduce his concept of LGBT to the sexual act.”

(C) AFP 2016

Originally published at 8.30am.

Ronnie O’Sullivan hit a 146 today because the 147 prize fund was ‘too cheap’

Disgraced ex-chief of Russia’s anti-doping agency dies suddenly

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (153)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel