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Did Manny Pacquiao Just Hit LGBT Community With A Sucker Punch?

Netizens irked by Manny Pacquiao’s statement on same-sex marriage and the boxer/politician seemed to throw the wrong punches. The statement was captured in a video that went viral and earned mixed reactions most of which were negative due to deeming those engaged in same-sex relationships to be “worse than animals”. Pacquiao runs for a seat in the senate and he has been known as a Christian devotee. The video was posted on the election site of a TV network.

Even celebrities have a negative reaction to his statement particularly those from the LGBT community. Pacquiao’s statement was based on his strong religious beliefs and in spite of apologizing to the LGBT group, he remains firm on his stand on same-sex marriage. Politicians have different views on same-sex marriage. Some want it legalized, while others still do not agree to the idea.  

Leni Robredo, a vice presidential aspirant of the Liberal Party wanted same-sex marriage legalized. Robredo is also an avid Catholic church-goer, but she also takes moral and legal standards into consideration. According to her statement, these standards must be protected by the church and the state. This statement was taken from her interview in November issue of Esquire.

However, the Catholic Church in the Philippines is not in favour of legalizing same-sex marriage. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, President of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, is against same-sex marriage legalization and urge Filipinos to do the same.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile also supports Pacquiao’s stand on same-sex marriage. Enrile is confident that Pacquiao will still win without the votes from LGBT community. On the other hand, presidential candidates, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe have nothing against same-sex marriage and strongly support gender-equality.

Same sex marriage bill has once been proposed in Congress, but its approval is far from happening due to mixed speculations. For those who are supporting same-sex marriage, it is more than just being entitled to the right to marry regardless of gender preferences. It is more of having equal protection, which has nothing to do with one’s religious beliefs.

Same-sex marriage needs to be viewed from a legal perspective and it will definitely breed never-ending debates before it can be legalized. While the bill is still pending in Congress, people who are in favour of enacting the bill into a law should hope for the best and of course, prepare for the worst because in a conservative country where majority of the population are Catholics, this bill still has a long way to go.