Manny Pacquiao banned from the Grove over gay marriage remarks
Boxer Manny Pacquiao has been banned from the Grove shopping mall because of comments he made about gay marriage.
In an interview with National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao addressed President Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage.
"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married," the boxer is quoted as saying. "It should not be of the same sex, so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah."
The article goes on to say that "Pacquiao's directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation."
It quotes Leviticus 20:13, 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."
"I'm not against gay people. I have a relative who is also gay," the boxer insists. "We can't help it if they were born that way. What I'm critical off are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God."
On Monday night, the Grove, owned by shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso, posted a statement on Twitter saying Pacquiao is not allowed on the premises.
The tweet reads: "Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome at @TheGroveLA. @TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance."
Pacquiao was scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday at the Grove for the TV show "Extra."
Pacquiao, a devout Catholic, is a congressman in his homeland of the Philippines, where he has a record of voting along conservative lines.
Last year, he opposed a law that would make contraception available to most Filipinos and mandate sex education. Pacquiao -- the current WBO Welterweight Champion -- is rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by several sporting news and boxing websites.
Pacquiao is listed at No. 4 on Forbes' list of most influential athletes in the world. His next fight is slated for June 9 against Timothy Bradley.
The story was first reported by the L.A. Weekly on Tuesday.