- (Photo: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco)
While training in Los Angeles for his upcoming boxing match, Manny Pacquiao, who was supposed to give an interview at a local mall, had to find an alternate location after officials from the Hollywood mall banned the boxer over comments he made about gay marriage.
Pacquiao was scheduled to participate in an interview with "Extra" host Mario Lopez at the Grove. The location is a famous mall and is where celebrities and tourists alike look for the hottest items.
According to local media reports, Pacquiao was banned from the outdoor mall because of his stance against the redefinition of marriage. His comments followed the president's announcement of his support for same-sex marriage last week.
During the interview, Pacquiao explained that while did not have a problem with gay individuals, he could not support their lifestyle since it conflicts with the biblical beliefs of Christians and the teachings of Jesus.
Paquiao referenced several verses to further his point including Leviticus 20:13 to offer his explanation as to why he does not support same sex marriage.
"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable," Pacquiao told the Examiner.
While the 33-year-old boxer said he respected Obama, he told the Examiner that the president should read the bible or "manual of life" to better society.
"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other," Pacquiao said. "It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old."
Management of the Grove issued a statement that explained their decision to publicly criticize an athlete for his Christian beliefs and ban him from the shopping mall in the future.
"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," mall officials stated.
After the dust-up over his comments, Pacquiao clarified his position insisting that he was not intolerant of gay people, only against actions that go against the Bible's teachings.
"I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God," he told ABS-CBN.
"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 of are actions that violate the word of God," he explained.