Boxer Manny Pacquiao released a statement regarding his stance on gay marriage, saying he never said gay people should be put to death.
“I’m not against gay people…I have a relative who is also gay,” the boxer said. “We can’t help it if they were born that way. What I’m critical of are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God.”
The boxer made the controversial comments during an interview where he was commenting on President Obama voicing his support for same-sex marriage.
Pacquiao drew harsh criticism after a published story from the National Conservative Examiner included a passage from Leviticus 20:13 that states: “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.”
“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,” said Pacquiao, who is also a congressman in his native Philippines.
The writer of the story wrote a blog post saying Pacquiao never referred to that specific passage in the Bible.
“God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other,” the boxer was quoted as saying.