Manny Pacquiao's latest jab toward gay marriage has landed him on the wrong side of the rope in Tinseltown. Pacquiao was scheduled to be interviewed on the set of the TV show "Extra" at The Grove today but the owner banned him after his comments against gay marriage were made public.
"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married," said Pacquiao, in a recent interview with The National Conservative Examiner. "It should not be of the same sex, so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah."
Pacquiao's comments arrive on the heels of President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage. The endorsement has managed to be a catalyst for both sides of the debate and has been met with a payload of opposition.
The 33-year-old boxer and Sarangani representative in the Filipino Congress, who's also No. 33 on Forbes' world's most powerful celebrities list, has made no secret of his conservative politics after denouncing a reproductive health care bill that would benefit Filipinos seeking contraception.
It was reported that Pacquiao had quoted Leviticus 20:13 verbatim during the interview, which states, "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."
It then turned out that he had not said that, but not before the media frenzy took off and an online petition was created to encourage Nike to drop a deal they have with Pacquiao. Nearly 5,000 signatures were gathered before it was shut down.
Pacquiao, a devout Catholic, released a statement today on his website to clear up what he said during the interview.
"I'm not against gay people," he wrote. "I have a relative who is also gay. We can't help it if they were born that way. What I'm critical of are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God."
Another message on his official website further explains the boxer's beliefs. "Pacquiao does not now and has never believed that people deserve death because of their sexual orientation."
Besides Nike, the married father of four has deals with Monster Energy, Hennessy and Hewlett Packard.