Johannesburg: Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao has insisted that God is on his side after sparking global controversy by describing gay couples as ‘ worse than animals’.
The eight-division world champion admitted that he was wrong to compare homosexuals to animals, but added that his opinion was based on the Bible and therefore the word of God should be honoured, Sport24 reported.
Earlier, Pacquiao saw his reputation take a severe hit when he said that animals are better than homosexuals because they could distinguish between male and female.
Although Pacquiao issued an apology on social media for his insensitive remarks, Sports brand Nike decided to sever its eight-year-old tie with the boxer saying his comments were ‘abhorrent’.
Gay marriage is illegal in the Philippines due to strong resistance from the Catholic Church, with 80 per cent of the country’s total population subscribing to the faith.
His comments sparked outrage on social media as various celebrities slammed the boxer for his insensitive remark.
Philippines’ most popular gay comedian Vice Ganda slammed Pacquiao on Twitter by posting #PrayForMannyPacquiao to his 6.7 million followers.
Vice said Pacquiao was not a God and that he had no right to judge people. He further insisted that the Senate does not require blind prophet like the 37-year-old.
Echoing similar views, popular singer Aiza Seguerra, who recently married her actress girlfriend, described Pacquiao as an ‘ignorant, bigoted hypocrite’ and called on the voters to boycott him.
Pacquiao, who will bid adieu to boxing after his last fight against Timothy Bradley in April, intends to fight for a senate seat in the May elections. (ANI)