Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao has denied quoting the Bible on the issue of the same sex marriage which was reportedly endorsed by US President Barack Obama.
Pacquiao's statement on the gay marriage issue first appeared on Examiner.com in an opinion article written by Granville Ampong.
It appeared Pacquiao has been misquoted by the writer of the controversial article who later admitted it was he who quoted from the Bible and not Pacquiao.
Pacquiao's reported anti-gay statement prompted Gay Marriage USA, to initiate an online petition urging Nike, one of the more popular sports apparel maker, to drop Pacquiao as one of its endorsers.
But later the group suspended the posting of the petition after the original writer of the article said it was him who quoted the Bible and not Pacquiao.
The controversial Examiner's article, was picked up by Internet bloggers as well as print and broadcast media which later triggered a media firestorm on the issue of same sex marriage.
The Bible quotes which was disowned by Pacquiao and later admitted by the Examiner's writer to be his own, were derived from 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.”
"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 reportedly 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" he added.
Ampong said these quotes from the Bible did not come from Pacquiao but it was him who lifted them from the Bible.
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"Ampong asked me if I'm in favor of Obama's promoting of gay marriage. I told him I am against same-sex marriage," said Pacquiao.
"I never quoted a Bible verse during the interview. If ever I quoted a verse, I am not familiar with Leviticus," Pacquiao added.
Pacquiao said he has relatives who are gay and definitely he's not against gay people. It is just that he doesn't support gay marriage on account of his religion.
"I'm not against the gay people," Pacquiao said. "I'm not condemning them. ... I have a cousin (who is) gay. I have relatives (who are) gay. I have a lot of friends (who are) gay, so I'm not condemning gays. What I said is I'm not in favor of same-sex marriage. That's the one thing I said to the guy.
"I told (the reporter) I'm against same-sex marriage," Pacquiao added. "He said, 'Why?' I said, 'It's the law of God.' That's all I said."
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Ampong later apologized for the confusion after admitting he was the source of the Bible quotes.
"I sincerely apologize for the confusion my column has caused. I certainly do not represent Pacquiao nor his team," the author wrote.
Pacquiao, who is now on his final phase of training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, is set to collide with unbeaten Palm Spring boxing star Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.