UPDATE 5/16/2012 1:16pm EST: Conservative Examiner writer Granville Ampong has published a new story on his column stating “Pacquiao never said nor recited, nor invoked and nor did he ever refer to such context.” Ampong says he included the reference to simply remind readers of his column “how God made it clear in the Old Testament time that such practice of same-sex marriage is detestable and strictly forbidden.”
In a recent interview with the National Conservative Examiner the beloved boxer cited Leviticus 20:13 when asked what he thought of President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage (Pacquiao referenced Bible verse, the writer of the story expanded with the scripture):
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 went on to say:
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.
Up until recently Pacquiao was seen as a charming man who lived his life with integrity and was respectful in and out of the boxing ring. That admirable lifestyle got him endorsement deals with the likes of Nike, Hewlett Packard and Hennessy Cognac.
Now, after his recent anti-gay comments, gay-rights advocates are questioning why anybody would want to endorse him.
“I do think that American sponsors are going to have to look very carefully about whether they can continue to pour money into his apparently rather empty soul,” Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign told the LA Weekly. “Not only does he live in L.A., he makes a lot of money thanks the United States and sponsors here in particular.”
Pacquiao holds a record eight world titles in as many weight divisions and is often referred to as the pride of the Philippines. The 34-year old boxer is seen as a humane human being who gives back to his country—he serves in his native country’s House of Representatives, he often cites God as the source of his ongoing success and wears a rosary around his neck before and after fights.
In the 11th round of a 2010 fight against boxer Antonio Margaritom, Pacquiao signaled to the referee and asked him to stop the fight because his opponent was having trouble keeping up.
Up until recently there was no doubt on anyone’s mind that Pacquiao was a likeable guy.
“I often don’t get political but when human beings (especially elected officials like Mr. Pacquiao) wish death to another human being because of their sexual orientation - I will get vocal,” Ryan Palao, who is widely recognized by his drag queen persona Ongina, told Colorlines.com.
“I’m not a fan of boxing but many are and this man is looked up to by children and adults in the Philippines and all over the world and being Filipino - I am extremely disappointed with him. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions - but to quote the bible suggesting death to a man who lies with another man is extreme and sends the wrong message,” Palao went on to say.
A message that Palao says Nike should revisit.
“Nike - who endorses this man - a company that supports the LGBT community - should drop his endorsement,” Palao went on to say, echoing the words of Courage Campaign’s founder.
Colorlines reached Nike and Hewlett-Packard for a statement but there was no response by publication time.