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Manny Pacquiao Defends Anti-Gay Remarks: ‘I Have A Relative Who Is Also Gay’

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May 16 2012, Published 10:00 a.m. ET

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By Alexis Tereszcuk Entertainment Editor

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao has come out swinging against reports that he made anti-gay comments in a recent interview, saying it was a lie the publication made up.

As previously reported, on Tuesday night, the popular boxer was banned from the celebrity friendly outdoor shopping mall The Grove in Los Angeles where he was scheduled to tape an interview with Extra host Mario Lopez on Wednesday afternoon.

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The ban follows a report that he told the National Conservative Examiner that he doesn’t agree with President Barack Obama’s support for same sex marriage and was quoted as reciting Bible verse Leviticus 20:13, which says “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." 

The devout Catholic and Congressman in his homeland of the Philippines is now saying he did not make the inflammatory comments.

“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,” he said.

Pacquiao, the first-ever to win titles in eight different weight classes, continued his explanation: “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. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God.”

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The Grove posted a Tweet banning the boxer on Tuesday night, writing “Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome @TheGroveLA. @TheGroveLA is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance.”

Mario Lopez hasn’t Tweeted an update on Manny’s appearance as of Wednesday morning.

However, Bristol Palin, the outspoken daughter of former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who also recently slammed Obama’s support of same sex marriage, was spotted at The Grove on February 18, 2012.



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