UPDATE 1: The original reporter interviewing the internationally famous boxer allegedly put the Leviticus quote in Pacquiao’s mouth. UPDATE 2: Now the Manila Bulletin reports the boxer, according to an adviser, “didn’t mean harm on anyone” with his comments (!) and “quoted a verse from the Bible.” UPDATE 3: Pacquiao’s camp released another statement, the boxer saying “I only voiced out my opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God. I’m not against homosexuals…I have a relative who is also gay. We cannot do anything if they were born that way. What I do not want is when you disobey the commandment of God.”
Is it 2012? I can see people rationalizing their position against marriage equality, albeit in the usual wrong-headed manner, but calling for the execution of gay human beings? World-famous boxer and role model to many kids, Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao), unleashed a level of public homophobia I’ve not seen in a long time.
The Courage Campaign has launched an action, calling for Nike, a major sponsor, to reconsider its relationship with the boxer.
In an interview published yesterday with the conservative Examiner newspaper, the Los Angeles resident quoted Leviticus, 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 contorts religion to call for the death of fellow human beings. Does Nike condone this kind of hate speech? Manny even went on to trash President Obama’s recent endorsement of marriage equality, again quoting Scripture:
“God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so 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 and Gomorrah of Old.”
Kids all over the world look up to Pacquiao as a role model, named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people and the world’s highest paid athlete. This is not what kids need to learn from a sports figure and foreign government official who makes his money in the US. The hatred in Manny’s soul for friends and neighbors isn’t sportsmanlike or moral. Nike earned a 100% rating in the 2012 Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index as a pro-LGBT company. Will they live up to it?
The Grove in LA and host Mario Lopez just canceled today’s planned interview with him, tweeting, “Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome @TheGroveLA. @TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance.”
Note this response to the Grove’s tweet:
@TheGroveLA Talk of intolerance! If his sincere religious belief’s that homosexuality’s a misguided & ill-made choice, what’s your problem?
Hmmm. I don’t see anything indicating the statement is a civil disagreement on the topic when someone calls for elimination of the other party.
I think it’s a sad, sad thing that Pacquiao, who surely understands bigotry in other realms, cannot see the damage he is causing with these horrific statements. That said, as a politician in his homeland, his conservative religious beliefs extend into womb-controlling legislation, so perhaps we should not be surprised, though I’d imagine his camp would have a better sense of PR savvy re: international media. (NYDN):
The charismatic fighter is a devout Catholic – and a Congressman in his homeland of the Philippines. His stance on same-sex marriage seems to be in line with his voting record in his home country – as he opposed a law last year that would make contraception accessible to most Filipinos and call for mandatory sex education.
You can sign the petition here.
UPDATE: From the New Civil Rights Movement, David Badash reports this AM that the original reporter at the Examiner put the Leviticus quote in Paquiao’s mouth (wow, what an example of journalism!):
Ampong, in addition to being a terrible writer, now is blaming other journalists for his poor journalism skills, which frankly is embarrassing and offensive. Ampong today pens, “Biased writers grossly twisted Pacquiao’s view on same-sex marriage,” while not bothering to correct his original report. Ampong starts his new article attacking other journalists, by stating:
USA TODAY writer Tom Weir wrote Saturday, May 14, 2012, ”Manny Pacquiao challenges Obama on same-sex marriage“, a fatal twist of the report I had written centering on an interview: “Pacquiao rejects Obama’s new twist on the Scriptures“.
As we see, 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. I have simply reminded in my column how God made it clear in the Old Testament time that such practice of same-sex marriage is detestable and strictly forbidden, in as much as God wants to encourage his people practices that lead to health and happiness and fullness of life. As my style of literary writing suggests in almost all of my columns, the critical thoughts I tied up in the structure of thoughts I wanted to convey pertinent to this issue at hand do not translate Pacquiao’s point of view, however conservative I am in my exposition.
Except, you totally did, and that’s why every media outlet reported it that way. Ampong is a terrible writer.
Bottom line: Pacquiao did not say gays “must be put to death,” Ampong just wrote it that way.
Pacquiao does vehemently believe in the Bible, and, among all this frenzy, has never made clear what his position on homosexuality and the Biblical teachings are, except to say, ”God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man.”
So now the matter is twisting in the wind, as Badash notes, Pacquiao’s camp has not responded to requests about the debacle.
UPDATE 2: That didn’t take long — now the Manila Bulletin reports the boxer, according to an adviser, “didn’t mean harm on anyone” with his comments (!) and “quoted a verse from the Bible.” Someone’s not telling the truth.
Notwithstanding his stance on same-sex marriage, boxing champ Manny Pacquiao didn’t mean harm on anyone.
His adviser, Michael Koncz, spoke in behalf of the Sarangani representative following the flak he drew in his interview with the Examiner, in which Pacquiao gave his two cents on the matter. The interview came on the heels of U.S. President Barack Obama expressing his belief that “same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
“Manny was asked about same-sex marriages and he quoted a verse from the Bible to drive home a point. He did not wish ill will on anybody,” Koncz told boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz in an abs-cbnNEWS.com report, May 16.
UPDATE 3: From the Courage Campaign — the boxer has released another statement:
Once the Courage Campaign called for Nike to drop Pacquiao, the Campaign received more than 15,000 signatures in five hours and more than 2,000 likes and 224 comments on Facebook in about 12 hours. #DropManny and #MannyPacquiao became trending topics on Twitter.
The huge public response prompted Pacquiao to revise his statement. “I only voiced out my opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God. I’m not against homosexuals…I have a relative who is also gay,” he said. “We cannot do anything if they were born that way. What I do not want is when you disobey the commandment of God.”