Manny Pacquiao doesn’t want anyone to misconstrue his feelings about gays and lesbians. The professional boxer and aspiring Filipino presidential candidate told the BBC that he remains steadfast against same-sex couples despite losing his endorsement deal.
"What I am saying is right. I mean I am just stating the truth, what the Bible says," Pacquiao told the British news organization. He spoke with their reporter Friday in his hometown of General Santos, the Philippines, during a training session for his upcoming final bout.
The BBC reported he did admit that when he described animals as superior to gays “because they can distinguish male from female,” in a television interview, he made a mistake.
That comment sparked a global flurry of criticism from the sports world and beyond, leading Pacquiao to post a video apology on Facebook.
He said he was sorry and was “not condemning LGBT,” but he also reconfirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
His sponsor, Nike, then delivered an uppercut and dropped him like a sack of potatoes. "We find Manny Pacquiao's comments abhorrent," the company stated.
And lest there be any doubt about his feelings, Pacquiao posted biblical verses on his Instagram account denouncing homosexuality as punishable by death, less than a day later.
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." The post has since been deleted.
As the BBC reported, the boxer converted from Catholicism to an evangelical Protestant faith, and plans to retire after his fight in April against Timothy Bradley, Jr. He is a conservative member of the Philippines House of Representatives and is also running for a seat in the overwhelmingly Catholic country’s Senate. The BBC reported he aspires to be president of his country someday.
Although it’s not a crime to be gay in the Philippines, same-sex marriage is not legal.
And Pacquiao told the BBC he is unaffected by all the controversy over his remarks. "I'm happy. I'm always happy because God is with me," he said, still adorned in Nike gear, for now.