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Manny Pacquiao Says “I Love Everybody,” Writer Apologizes for “Confusion”

International Business Times UK

Philippine boxing champion Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday clarified that he has nothing against gay people, while the interviewer who first wrote about Pacquiao's take on gay marriage apologized for the "confusion."

Recent news items have carried the message that Pacquiao believes homosexuals should be killed. He supposedly backed his belief with an Old Testament verse in the bible, Leviticus 20:13, which said, "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 news spread wildly and drew a lot of flak internationally. It sparked anti-Pacquiao shout outs on various social networks, with people even calling out for Nike to drop Pacquiao as an endorser. L.A.'s Grove shopping center had also banned Pacquiao from the mall.

However, in an interview with Dyan Castillejo on Wednesday, Pacquiao denied he was a homophobe.

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"I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God," Pacquiao said.

"I didn't (quote Leviticus), that's a lie... I didn't know that quote from Leviticus because I haven't read the Book of Leviticus yet," he added.

Pacquiao stressed he has nothing against the gay community.

"I'm not against gay people... I have a relative who is also gay. We can't help it if they were born that way. What I'm critical off are actions that violate the word of God."

Granville Ampong, the writer who first wrote about Pacquiao's opinion on gay marriage has also clarified the boxing champion did not quote Leviticus during their interview.

"(N)owhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such," he wrote.

"I sincerely apologize for the confusion my column has caused. I certainly do not represent Pacquiao nor his team," Ampong wrote.

Ampong said he regrets the confusion his column has caused, but he also assailed two other writers who picked up from his story. He specifically named USA Today's Tom Weir and LA Weekly's Dennis Romero as "biased writers" who have "grossly twisted Pacquiao's view on same-sex marriage."

Ampong cited Weir's May 14 story, "Manny Pacquiao challenges Obama on same-sex marriage" and Romero's May 15 article, "Manny Pacquiao Says Gay Men Should Be 'Put to Death" as the news items that caused all the uproar against Pacquiao.

Romero has updated his news item online, but offered no apologies. Weir's online story remains the same since it was last updated two days and fours ago as of the time this story is written.

In his interview with Extra's Mario Lopez, Pacquiao delivered this message:

"To the gay community, I apologize... I'm against same-sex marriage, but I'm not condemning you. My favorite verse is 'Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbor.' So I love everybody!"

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