Manny Pacquiao: 'I'm not against gay people'
The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles has banned boxer Manny Pacquiao over comments he made about gay marriage, but the boxer said he was misquoted.
"Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao, we have made it be known that he is not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future. The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance," the Grove said in a statement.
Officials from the Grove did not return immediate calls seeking additional comment.
In an interview with National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao addressed President Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage.
"God's words first ... obey God's law first before considering the laws of man," Pacquiao told the Examiner. "God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married. 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."
The original story quoted 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."
But the story did not quote Pacquiao as making the quotation.
Pacquiao later released a statement saying he was misquoted and denying he has animus for gay people. "I didn't say that, that's a lie. I didn't know that quote from Leviticus because I haven't read the Book of Leviticus yet."
"I'm not against gay people. I have a relative who is also gay," the boxer insisted. "We can't help it if they were born that way. What I'm critical of are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God."
The writer of the original story also backed up Pacquiao's account. But some media outlets attributed the quote to the boxer.
"I sincerely apologize for the confusion my column has caused. I certainly do not represent Pacquiao nor his team," the author wrote.
-- Andrew Blankstein, Bettina Boxall and Shelby Grad
Photo: Trainer Freddie Roach, left, with Manny Pacquiao. Credit: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press