Manny Pacquiao apologized Tuesday for comparing homosexuals to animals, saying that even though he's still against gay marriage, he doesn't condemn anyone in the LGBT community and he prays for them.
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals," the Filipino boxer and politician wrote on Instagram. "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."
He posted similar remarks on Twitter and Facebook, all accompanied by video messages.
Pacquiao was one of several candidates for the Philippine Senate who were asked their views on same-sex marriage during a recent interview broadcast by TV5. In his answer, Pacquiao seemed to say he not only was against gay marriage but homosexuality in general.
"It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?" he said.
"The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals."
Although Pacquiao is considered a hero in his country, other Filipino celebrities — including popular gay comedian and TV host Jose Marie Viceral, known as Vice Ganda — were among those who came down hard on the boxer.
Several hours before his apology, Pacquiao first tried defending himself on Instagram.
"I rather obey the Lord's command than obeying the desires of the flesh," he wrote. "Im not condemning anyone, but I'm just telling the truth of what the Bible says. The truth from the Bible is what changed me from my old ways. 1 Corinthians 6:9 " Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men." God Bless everyone i love you all."
Pacquiao is a member of the Philippines' House of Representatives. He also is training for what he has said will be his last fight, against Timothy Bradley in April.
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