June July 2016
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Manny Pacquiao Quotes Leviticus: Gays Should Be 'Put to Death'

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is not backing down on his antigay views.

The Filipino boxing champ, who recently incited a firestorm for saying gay people are "worse than animals," is citing Biblical verses to justify his comments.

Less than a day after losing a Nike endorsement deal for his bigotry, Pacquiao posted quotations from the books of Leviticus and Corinthians to Instagram that condemned gay people to death.

The citations included the infamous verse from Leviticus 20.13: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death, their blood will be on their own heads."

Pacquiao posted the fiery Old Testament quotations early Thursday morning to Instagram. He deleted the post shortly afterward, but not before over 18,000 people had liked it. ABS-CBN, a news agency in the Phillippines, had taken a screen shot before it was removed.

In his native Philippines, Pacquiao is a conservative member of the House of Representatives and is running for a seat in that overwhelmingly Catholic country’s Senate. And in a native-language interview seen by Filipino viewers and reported online, he sent a very clear message recently about where he stands on same-sex marriage:

"Woman was made for man, man was made for woman. It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish, male or female.

"If we approve male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animal."

Likely responding to the worldwide reaction to his interview, Pacquiao offered a sort-of apology. On Facebook Tuesday, he wrote that he was sorry for "hurting people." "I love you all with the love of the Lord," he added. "God Bless you all and I'm praying for you." 

Speaking with the Associated Press, Pacquiao reiterated his prior defenses of his antigay positions, complete with the well-worn "some of my best friends are gay" trope. 

"I'm not against the gay people. I’m not condemning them,” Pacquiao told the AP Tuesday. “I have a cousin [who is] gay. I have relatives [who are] gay. I have a lot of friends [who are] gay, so I'm not condemning gays. What I said is I'm not in favor of same-sex marriage."

In response to the comments, Nike announced Wednesday that it was ending its endorsement deal with Pacquiao.

"We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent," the company stated. "Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community."

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