The Philippine Catholic Church on
Sunday defended boxer Manny Pacquiao's anti-gay comments.
During an appearance on local radio
station DZMM, Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the
Catholic bishops' public affairs office, said that Pacquiao was only
quoting the Bible when asked about marriage equality.
“This is really in the Bible,”
Secillano is quoted as saying by the
AFP. “There is this quote he [Pacquiao] uses from the Bible
and we cannot change that.”
The 37-year-old boxer is running for a
seat in the Philippine Senate.
Last week, he told local station TV5:
“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 from female. If we approve [of] male on
male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
Pacquiao apologized in a Facebook post,
saying that he stands by his opposition to marriage equality “because
of what the Bible says” but he's “not condemning LGBT.”
Apparel giant Nike responded to the
controversy by canceling a contract with the boxer.
A day after he lost the Nike contract,
Pacquiao posted a Bible verse on his Instagram account calling for
gays “to be put to death.” It was deleted within hours.
Pacquiao posts Bible verse calling for gays “to be put to death.”)
While Secillano said that it was
“unfair” to condemn Pacquiao for quoting the Bible, he added that
his language was offensive.
“The church … says that if this is
your lifestyle, if this is your orientation, then we respect that.
We cannot condemn them,” he said.
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