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Boxer Manny Pacquiao Caught Up in Anti-Gay Controversy

Boxer Manny Pacquiao Caught Up in Anti-Gay Controversy

Boxer Manny Pacquiao has stepped into the ring against LGBT equality, and it’s one fight he’s not going to win. Yesterday, the Filipino fighter-turned-politician made headlines when he spoke out against same-sex marriage and allegedly criticized President Obama.

But the controversy doesn’t end there.

Conservative writer Granville Ampong published an interview with Pacquiao on Examiner.com, wherein Pacquaio discusses his views on LGBT rights. Like many people of faith, Pacquaio opposes marriage equality based on his interpretation of the Bible. He makes the old “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” argument. Yawn.

But controversy erupted over a paragraph in Ampong’s interview where Pacquaio seems to be calling for death to gays:

Pacquiao’s directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation, notwithstanding what Leviticus 20:13 has been pointing all along: “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.” [source]

Today, new information has revealed that Pacquiao never gave Obama any directive, and he never quoted Leviticus 20:13. Speaking to ABS-CBNnews in Manila, Pacquaio said he’s never actually read the oft-cited scripture. “I didn’t say that, that’s a lie… I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet.”

It turns out that Ampong simply made the whole thing up. “Pacquiao never said nor recited, nor invoked [Leviticus] and nor did he ever refer to such context,” Ampong wrote in a new Examiner piece defending Pacquiao.

Instead of issuing his own apology or a formal retraction, Ampong blames “biased writers” for misconstruing the story. He insists that “nowhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such.”

Although many of Monday’s stories have been updated or retracted, it’s unclear how long this controversy will haunt Pacquiao. Huffington Post reports that The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles, where Pacquiao was scheduled to do a television interview, has banned the boxer over Ampong’s wrongly-attributed remarks.

Let’s hope this story serves as a cautionary tale for internet journalists.

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Photo credit: Roger Alcantara (Creative Commons)

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26 comments

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9:52AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Pacquiao ha preso tanti colpi in testa!!

4:24PM PDT on May 19, 2012

Pacquiao is not very bright to begin with....so who cares what he said OR didn't say.... maybe his fellow countrymen who revere him as though he were some kind of saint.

A good boxer, lousy singer and the people of the Philippines will judge him as a politician.

4:24PM PDT on May 19, 2012

Pacquiao is not very bright to begin with....so who cares what he said OR didn't say.... maybe his fellow countrymen who revere him as though he were some kind of saint.

A good boxer, lousy singer and the people of the Philippines will judge him as a politician.

10:11AM PDT on May 18, 2012

He didn't get "caught up in" controversy, he said something stupid, and there was a completely foreseeable backlash.

5:16AM PDT on May 18, 2012

Manny is, by all accounts I have read, a very ignorant person with very little education. Unfortunately, this makes him a very great target to be exploited by people who are using his fame, especially in the Philippines. This is how he was elected to a public office in the PI without having any experience or education in politics. He is just a tool who is being used by other nefarious people to promote their own agenda's behind his own name. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ignorant, uneducated people in the impoverished country who will band behind him and support him solely because he is famous. Just imagine if Mike Tyson ran for the US Senate and started going on speaking tours. It is obviously a recipe for disaster.

7:24PM PDT on May 17, 2012

I pressed too soon and would like to finish my blurb please.
Manny needs to attend some sensitivity training and a stint in the local rehab for foot in mouth disease. Most of the Republicans could benefit from the same rehab for the same illnesses. However, being a jerk is not an illness but blight on humanity just as is homophobia.
Look at biology, there are many other species of animals that are homosexual. This is all part of God's creation. God loves us all just the way we are. Do you not understand this?
Why is it okay for politicians and evangelical preachers who are the worst leaches upon the poor to commit adultery and spin doctors spin the act?
Bosers get hits to the head and it is obvious the man has had one too many concussions. God help him please!

7:15PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Okay. Today, May 17/12 is the International Day Against Homophobia and this article just confirms why we all need to set the record straight. Homosexuality is NOT a choice. As for the Leviticus excerpt, if one were to read to Bible in its entirety and had 2 cents worth of a brain and any sort of critical thinking skills, one would understand the this goes to say that pedophilia is a sin. No, 98% of sexual pedophiles are heterosexuals. Sexually molesting a child is a sin no matter who does the act. Are you listing Pope Benny?
No where in the bible does it say that homosexuality is a sin. Rememer, the Bible talks about having slaves, beating your kids, an eye for an eye etc. The Bible is a wonderful metaphorical literary man made account of Holy events.

6:32PM PDT on May 17, 2012

i agree with Pamylle too many blows to the head and I might add to much aggression for me to ever vote for someone like this.

12:08PM PDT on May 17, 2012

Thank you for the article...

8:54AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Since accusing people of being accomplices to murder for merely smoking cigarettes, which in my youth, nearly everyone did (and this strategy has worked to vilify smokers!), I suppose this barbaric deliberate dehumanization and forced exclusion, may be the only way to change the way bigots think about the LGBTQ community, people of darker skin and different eyes, people who cannot speak English properly, and those who hate allowing women to think for themselves.

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