(Updated) A GROUP of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) urged Tuesday the public not to vote for senatorial aspirant Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao following his negative view on same-sex union.
"Please do NOT vote for so-called Representative Manny Pacquiao for senator of this land. His anti-LGBT statement betray a shallow understanding of the issues that are important to the community," LGBT group Ladlad said in its Twitter account on Tuesday.
In a recent interview with Bilang Pilipino, Pacquiao said that he could not give support to the LGBT community.
"It's common sense. Have you seen any animals that are engaged in male to male, or female to female? Animals then are better (as) they know how to distinguish male or female. Now, if it is male on male, female or female, the human is worse than animal," Pacquiao was quoted as saying.
Danton Remoto, Ladlad chairperson, said that Pacquiao's anti-LGBT comment broke the hearts of the LGBT community.
"Manny Pacquiao, you broke our hearts, we can't believe you uttered such foul words. We can't afford another bigot in the Senate," he said.
Pacquiao's statement, he said, "betrays a shallow understanding of the issues that are important to them."
Remoto said Ladlad supports the rights of people to have consensual, same-sex relationships that lead to domestic partnerships or even to same-sex marriage.
"We support same sex marriage, this is found in the equal rights provisions of the Constitution that mandates a level playing field for everybody, whether in the realm of economics or love, Manny, tama na ang kabobohan," he said.
In a statement, senatorial aspirant Valenzuela Representative Sherwin Gatchalian also came to the defense of the LGBT community.
"Is it human to hate their fellow human beings for having a different sexual orientation? At least, animals do not discriminate against their fellow animals. As citizens of the Republic, LGBT should be afforded the same civil right as everyone else," said Gatchalian.
Gatchalian also corrected Pacquiao for saying that animals are not attracted to same sex, noting that over 450 different animal species exhibit homosexual behaviour, like penguins, giraffes, lizards and albatrosses, according to Yale Scientific Magazine.
He added that he is a practicing Christian and may not approve of same-sex or LGBT marriage but he would not stand in opposition to genuine initiatives moving for LGBT union in the country.
"Human rights belong to everyone, regardless of gender," Gatchalian said.
In his Facebook page, Pacquiao still maintained his stance and cited a verse from the Bible that would prove same sex union was unacceptable.
Pacquiao cited 1 Corinthians 6:9, " Or do you not know the 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."
"I (would) rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desires of the flesh. I’m 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," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao, who is a senatorial candidate under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay ranked eighth in the latest survey for senatorial aspirants of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
A few years ago, he was converted to the born-again Christian faith. In 2015, he started building a church in General Santos city to be called "The Word for Everyone", which can accommodate up to 5,000 people. (Sunnex)