OPINION CORNER: Pacman knocked-out by upset fans over anti-gay marriage slur

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Did boxer/politician Manny Pacquiao’s anti-gay marriage comment that created a massive backlash from the LGBTQ community in the Philippines blaze the way to his downfall as the hailed hero of Filipinos?

Although crazed avid fans still vowed their everlasting loyalty by burning their Nike shoes in public, the news spread like wildfire around the globe creating swift reactions amongst sports stars. NBA “Hall of Famer” Magic Johnson tweeted “I won’t be watching another one of Manny Pacquiao’s fights.” Then he followed up with another tweet “I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao’s contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals.”

Magic and Cookie Johnson’s 20-year-old son, EJ, caused a stir when TMZ videotaped him walking down Sunset Boulevard holding hands with a male friend. On “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Cookie and Magic open up about how they learned their son was gay and why their love is unconditional.

Filipino American professional wrestler turned actor David Bautista featured in MVI News – Hollywood Connection, November issue, told TMZ in the video that his mother happened to be a lesbian. The upset Spectre actor lashed out, “If anyone called my mother an animal I’d stick my foot in his ass.”

The controversy spikes when former eight-division world champion who was training for the fight with Bradley was also campaigning for a Senatorial seat in the upcoming Philippine election.

Pacquiao apologized for comments he made to a Filipino television station saying gays and lesbians are worse than animals. But the apology didn’t significantly end the controversy, Pacquiao suddenly posted Bible verses to support his religious beliefs in which he stated one of the verses in Leviticus 20:13 states that homosexuals should be put to death, which caused more outrage.

Former ABS-CBN journalist supported Pacquiao by tweeting the LGBT community that they couldn’t merely handle an opinion.

The he wrote on his Facebook “Yes I understand your concern. And yes it was a bit of insensitive of Manny Pacquiao to have said what he said about gays being worse than animals. But see, he was asked his opinion on public television. It’s not as if Pacquiao was walking around preaching and telling people how to act and what to do. Manny has never been the kind to dictate to people how to be.”

Although Filipino Canadian Vancouverites have been huge fans of Pacquiao, the boxer didn’t get any sympathy from the Pinoy Pride Society citing its support to the LGBT in the Philippines.

Here are sentiments from people in which some comments originated from Facebook.

Below are people’s views and opinions. Warning: Some opinions may contain words that may offend you.

“Filipino Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao recently made headlines for public comments he made against the LGBTQ community. While Pinoy Pride does not condone Pacquiao’s remarks, this reminds us of the continuing struggles our community in the Philippines faces to this day.

We know we have a lot of work to do in raising awareness of and providing support to our LGBTQ community in Vancouver, and we would like to give a shout of support to our LGBT brothers and sisters in the Philippines.”

– Pinoy Pride’s official statement on the issue

“Really, really sad and very disappointed, indeed! We are also very strong supporters of the LGBTQ and Ria is a big advocate for LGBTQ and equality, just as many youth are, in the name of fairness and equality. Quite some damage done.”

– Jackie Dy

“Pacquiao – a champ no more! Loser!”

– Debbie Arkoncel

“Glad to see that many people are slowly waking up because the last three years, Manny Pacquiao was saying the same stuff he is saying now minus the “Gays being worse than animals comment.”

But when i tell people what Manny was saying, the response I had from his fans (which include gay Filipinos) were “relax” “don’t hate on the Pac- Man). SMH!

I guess Manny felt cocky to continue with his ignorant views. I hope the people in the Philippines will do their duty and elect good people in the Senate and vote him out.”

– Gary Quon

“LGBT communities around the world have fought so long to bring them to a place where they are now: to have equal rights and be accepted as they are. My son is also gay, a talented musician, playwright, poet, professor and an avid contributor of many ways that can bring joy to the world we live in.

He is honest and caring and will never hurt anyone with his actions or words. Being a religious human being who embraces and reads the bible with every breath he takes does not give him the authority and power to feel as if he is the only one who is blessed and righteous.

Manny Pacquiao has proven that wisdom is never acquired by power, position or wealth but by living with compassion and open mind.”

– Estrella Sauler Gatchalian

“I think we need to clarify something. Same sex marriage just means whatever a heterosexual couple enjoys under the law should be enjoyed by a couple of the same sex – in property, child issues, etc. It just means that a person involved in a same sex union is protected under the law and so with their children. What is so horrible about that?! The thing is this is correlated with religious beliefs, which it’s not. This is a question of human rights.

I suggest MP watch more episodes of National Geographic, Animal Planet & Discovery to find out even in the animal world (which includes us, btw), gay & lesbian relationships do exist. It’s not our exclusive domain.”

– Marichu Ramos

“I will pray for Manny Pacquiao for reflection for the words he chose and comparison he made about the LGBTTQ community. “Peace on earth and goodwill to men.” These are the words we share among each other in the Holiday Seasons as a reminder of God’s enduring Love.”

– Gary Lising

“It doesn’t matter whom you love as long as you love and are loved !!! I’m blessed to have friends that just so happen to be gay, lesbian, two spirit and transgender…and I wouldn’t change a single thing about any of them!!!”

– Jill Milnes

“He has probably lost the respect of 90% of his ex-fans.”

– Tracy Steadwood

“I totally agree with Pacquiao. I’m not in favor of gay marriages. We should preserve the right to marriages. I’m not against gay people but it is important that our opinion is heard.

– Rob Cordero

“Stick to boxing. There is a real danger for the brain to disengage when you get your head walloped repeatedly for a living.  Consequently, you could swallow your mouth guard accidentally and hurt other people unintentionally with words you spout without thinking.”

– Bernardo Bernardo

“I was very disappointed to hear Manny’s derogatory comments against gay people. There is no excuse for such homophobic remarks and especially from an elected official. His limited apology is not adequate and he must take steps to show leadership in ending discrimination and violence against members of the LGBTQ community.”

– MLA, Mable Elmore

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