Manny Pacquiao has provoked a storm of controversy in his home country after airing his opinion about people in same-sex relationships.

The 37-year-old, who is running for a seat in the Philippines senate in May’s elections as a conservative Christian, made the remark in a video posted on local TV5’s election site.

“It’s common sense,” the eight times world champion, who later apologised, said. “Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.”

The country’s most popular gay comedian, Vice Ganda, posted #PrayForMannyPacquiao to his 6.7m followers on Twitter as he hit back at the boxer, adding: “Some people think they can judge people like God just because they’ve attended a prayer meeting and read the Bible. The senate needs experts on politics and law, not blind prophets.”

The singer Aiza Seguerra, who also recently married her actress-girlfriend, called on voters to boycott Pacquiao, who is also preparing for his last fight in April, calling him an “ignorant, bigoted hypocrite”. Seguerra added: “You might have done our country proud but with your statement, you just showed the whole country why we shouldn’t vote for you.”

Responding to the controversy via Instagram, Pacquiao posted an image of himself with his wife, quoting the Bible and writing: “I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desire of the flesh. I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says…….“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God bless you all and I’m praying for you.”

Pacquiao, represents the province of Sarangani in the House of Representatives, though is often absent. In one of his few speeches, Pacquiao quoted heavily from the bible as he attempted to stop a proposed law, since passed, giving free condoms to the poor.

Manny Pacquiao - NIKEMeanwhile, American multinational corporation, NIKE, has terminated its contract with Pacquiao after his comments on same-sex relationships.

Nike released a statement on Wednesday that read: “We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”

Manny Pacquiao says he respects Nike’s decision to sever ties with him over his comments about gay relationships but remains opposed to same-sex marriage and added he’s happy that “a lot of people were alarmed by the truth”.

“Whatever decision Nike makes is its decision and I respect that and its sponsorship of me now only involves my clothes for my fight,” Pacquiao told reporters on Thursday. “Our contract has already ended aside from sponsoring the boxing.”

Pacquiao, since his comments about same sex marriage, has come under heavy criticism and persecution  especially from individuals withing the LGBT circles, with some mostly raining insults and their disdain on the boxer.

Among those who reacted strongly were popular gay celebrities in the Philippines some of whom declared they have lost their respect for the fighter.

Even his American boxing promoter Bob Arum has criticized Pacquiao. “What he’s saying is diametrically opposed to what I believe,” said Arum, who is promoting Pacquiao’s upcoming fight with Timothy Bradley. “I’m in favor of gay rights and same-sex marriage. I’m apologetic personally to the gay movement in the United States.” he added.

Various other individuals have taken time to appreciate Pacquiao for his boldness of  standing for the TRUTH!

(FILES) In this September 3, 2014 file photo, Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao gestures on arrival for a press conference with fellow boxer Chris Algieri in Los Angeles, California. Pacquiao called his boxing showdown with Floyd Mayweather "the fight of my life" as he got down to work pounding the streets and gym in Los Angeles. The eight-division world champion cranked into serious preparations for the May 2 fight after flying in for his training camp from his native Philippines. On March 2, 2015, Pacquiao ran two miles (3.2 km) and shadow-boxed for two rounds, followed by abdominal work and breakfast of steamed rice, scrambled egg, fish and chicken broth. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN / FILESFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Pacquiao added he did not intend to condemn gay people.

“I am not condemning the LGBT,” Pacquiao said. “What I am condemning is the act. I’m happier because I’m telling the truth … It’s worse if we will hide the truth,” he said. I’m happier that a lot of people were alarmed by the truth.”

It certainly is true that “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”, (2 Timothy 3:12).., yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf (1 Peter 4:16 ).

Indeed, Pacquiao if the world hate you, you know that it hated Jesus before it hated you (John 15:18) BUT “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:12)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35). rejoice & be glad sir for you are certainly on the right path! Jesus will be smiling and proud of you. 🙂

By: Julius Ofori Boadu with credit to The Guardian 

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