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Morning Mail: Manny Pacquiao banned from Hollywood mall over his stance on gay marriage

May 16, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Boxer Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines attends a news conference in New York Reuters

Speaking as someone who has himself been banned from the mall (let’s not get into it), I feel for Manny Pacquiao. His situation, however, is a bit different: it involves his controversial comments recently about gay marriage and the Bible.

Pacquiao is training in Los Angeles for his June 9 bout with Timothy Bradley, and was supposed to do an interview with Extra and host Mario Lopez at the outdoor shopping mall The Grove. But Simone Wilson of LA Weekly reports that the event has been canceled, and Pacquiao has been banned from the mall’s Fairfax campus.

“We’re canceling the event,” says Grove spokesman Bill Reich. “Manny Pacquiao is not coming to the Grove.” [He] is “not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here now or in the future.”

On Friday Pacquiao lashed out at President Obama’s stance on gay marriage, quoting Bible verses and saying that homosexual unions were “against the laws of God.” The statements came in an interview with the National Conservative Examiner, and Pacquiao’s representatives are now saying that some of his quotes were taken out of context.

In the National Conservative Examiner article, Pacquiao quoted Leviticus 20:13, reciting “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.” But Pacquiao now contends he never quoted that verse. TMZ:

Pacquiao has now released a statement saying, “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 continues, “I’m not against gay people … I have a relative who is also gay. We can’t help it if they were born that way.”

But that’s not good enough for the Grove. Mall privileges: revoked! The full statement:

“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.”

Pacquiao is going to find that this whole thing is going to be a lot harder to stuff back into the bottle than it was to let it out. He probably should have kept his remarks focused on Timothy Bradley, and left the gays out of it.

But should he have been banned from the Grove? What if he needs something from Bed, Bath and Beyond? The LA Times has a poll, and so far the response is running decidedly against banning Pacquiao.

***
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