LOS ANGELES (CBS) — International boxing star Manny Pacquiao denied allegations on Monday that he said homosexuals should be “put to death” after an interview that got him banned from one of the city’s most popular destinations.
Pacquiao was scheduled for an interview on Wednesday afternoon with Mario Lopez of TV’s “Extra” at The Grove in Los Angeles, but that appearance may be in jeopardy after comments he made to in response to President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage last week.
The Philippine lawmaker told the National Conservative Examiner that he believes the Bible is very clear on the issue of homosexuality and that the President’s comments are in direct contradiction to Scripture.
“God’s words first,” Pacquiao told the Examiner. “Obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man.”
Granville Ampong, the writer of the article — but not Pacquiao himself — went on to quote a passage from the Old Testament book of Leviticus, which states that “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.”
That interview prompted a statement from Grove VP of corporate affairs Bill Reich which read, “Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao we have made it be known that he is not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future.
“The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance,” the statement concluded.
But now Pacquiao said his statements were taken out of context and that he never stated that anyone in the gay community “deserved death”.
“I didn’t say that, that’s a lie…I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet,” he said.
However, Pacquiao did affirm that he remains opposed to the “marriage of anyone that is not Man and Woman as he believes is stated in the Bible.”
As of late Wednesday morning, neither Pacquiao or Lopez had updated their Twitter accounts to reflect any cancellation.
Pacquiao appeared on Extra — but not filmed at The Grove — to apologize to the gay community.
“To the gay community I apologize if I did something, but all I said was I was against same-sex marriage. But I am not condemning you. My favorite expression is, ‘Love one another…as you love yourself, love thy neighbor,'” Pacquiao told Extra.