Manny Pacquiao comments on Gays are disgusting
“It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female,” Pacquiao told a local broadcaster TV5 in an interview earlier this week.”If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals.” When I saw those quotes being shared on Twitter, I was gobsmacked and disgusted that such a high profile figure can utter such idiotic words.To me, Manny Pacquiao is an airhead and hypocrite.The LGBT community faces greater discrimination in public, regularly shunned, they also experience greater economic disadvantage due to their lifestyle choice. I know some who have even been turned down at job interviews. Instead of Manny Pacquiao condemning the prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people he is turning against them.If Manny was just another person, then few of us would have cared.But this bloke is a global sports icon and a politician back in his home country of Philippines.Personally I don’t agree with those who have a degree of intolerance toward LGBT community.Thats why I fully agree with the US sports equipment giant Nike decision to axe Pacquiao for describing gay couples as “worse than animals”. A Nike statement said the company had severed its ties with Pacquiao, who triggered a firestorm of controversy with his comments to a Filipino broadcaster earlier this week.”We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” a Nike said.”Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.By the time I was posting this article,Manny Pacquiao followership on Twitter has reduced from more than 2 million followers before his comments to slightly over 10,000.
“Pacquiao’s remarks drew heavy criticism from all over the World with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather taking a swipe at the remarks by saying ”We should let people live their lives the way they want to live their lives. To each his own.” Philippine’s most popular gay comedian, Vice Ganda, urging his over 6 million Twitter followers to “#PrayForMannyPacquiao”. “Some people think they can judge people, like God, just because they’ve attended a prayer meeting and read the Bible,” Ganda said. Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in the NBA wrote on Twitter saying “I lost all respect for you.” “Bigoted people like you (& yes you are one) should never hold an office in politics.”Pacquiao shouldn’t stand for homophobic bullying and instead should stand up for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender who are all our brothers and sisters.The idea of expressing sexual orientation in Catholic majority states like Philippines has almost been a source of debate. Moral judgments and legal considerations seem unable to satisfy each other.The main conservative religious groups like Catholic church which according to official data in Manila accounts for more than 80% of its estimated 100 million people definitely mention that same-sex relationships violate religious values and betray humanity. That is where the retiring boxer is likely to have drawn his inspiration to make such moronic statement.It my firm belief that freedom of expression should see homosexuality as a civil and political right and not the other way round as Philippines, home to the largest Catholic population in Asia, has been facing this issue for years.
Nevertheless, the gay rights movement has not significantly increased and leverage against gay people remains notoriously high. Respectively, gay guys in Philippines prefer to stay in the closet for security reasons and follow the expectations of mainstream culture. Most will say, “You can be gay, but don’t talk about it.” Coming out often doesn’t end well, with either exclusion from family, peers and employers. Being condemned by society and other situations puts this minority group into vulnerable situations. Simply put, coming out publicly as gay is a serious burden to access, benefits, and control of economic, social and cultural rights.Regardless of the moral judgment, having relations with someone of the same sex is legally recognized by international laws. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly states that both men and women are equal and entitled to any rights and freedom without any distinction based on sex, political opinion and so on. The Philippines government as a legitimized party to exercise power within its jurisdiction should enforce human rights on a daily basis. Nonetheless, within the Philippines context, many transsexuals have no jobs because of the bureaucracy, which deprives them of access to health and other public services. Also, protecting every citizen’s right to express his or her sexuality by creating a safe place for them to live is essential. It is clearly reported by Philippines media that certain radical religious-based community organizations embrace violence to enforce their ideologies. They use particular moral judgments to justify gay-bashing, banning queer film festivals and spreading hatred against homosexuals. In fact, there is no law concerning homosexuality protection in Philippines. In some circumstances, however, the government has tended to ignore their movements.
Fundamental religious groups that practice violence, hate-speech and blasphemy against other groups must be shut down. Inherent to this policy, executive, legislative and judiciary sectors should introduce the essence of multiculturalism in delivering service to citizens by mirroring this idea in policies and decision-making processes.What now worries me is that Pacquiao is part of the political system in Philippines and him being intolerant in public, what does it mean for his views outside public domain?The idea to live under a multicultural umbrella is the best solution this world has today. Public figures like Pacquiao should be helping organizations that are educating and empowering society and influencing policy related to gay rights and ensure their work is recognized.Nonetheless, the idea of sexual orientation is somewhat dry and will not be funded if it has nothing to do with health policy in Philippines. The freedom to publicly express sexuality and to be accepted as a gay person is still far from recognition in Philippines where I have been lucky to travel to its capital Manila twice in my lifetime.Pacquiao need to educate the Philippines public that homosexuals are members of society, using an integrative strategy involving communications and media people, moderate religious leaders, youth representatives, teachers and members of government.Initiating a benchmark to build a strong connection among Philippines LGBT community is essential and sharing best practices, strategies to make this minority group’s rights mainstream. Along with this ongoing process is advocacy and communication through mainstream, alternative and interactive media. The Philippines media often portrays homosexuality under miscellaneous and sticky stereotypes, it has a huge influence and largely shapes public opinion.
Many gay people in Philippines fight individually for their rights and promote sexual education and understanding through interactive media. This tremendously powerful and interactive tool in many cases has achieved responses that show that digital advocacy can press decision-makers to establish or change certain policies. Finally, approaches to reducing stigma must be viewed as a long path that requires cooperation between the government and society. The society should give empathy to people living with LGBT community and help them cope with the stigma and discrimination.Society should also build community-based interventions that are designed to mobilize and help leaders to address maladaptive self-stigmatizing behaviors and advocate against discrimination in the wider community.When it comes to uttering words like Pacquiao did, they can reveal the best and the worst characteristics of a person.One of the worst things that the interviewed aired earlier this week has exposed is that he is a bigot.Pacquiao comments have gone too far and his moronic comments plays on the knowledge that many Catholics in his country are swayed by such sentiment. While smear tactics such as these against LGBT community are detestable,our reactions and the way we have tackled those spreading the lies are even more deplorable. It has exposed the bigotry within people who feels that LGBT community has no space in this world.Philippines could learn a lesson or two from other nations where LGBT community has gained respect like Denmark or even United States. This is supposed to be a World that celebrates diversity and guarantees equal opportunity for all citizens, irrespective of their sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion and social-class backgrounds. Obviously, LGBT community are not there yet if someone like Pacquiao can make such statements but I believe they will eventually win the battle against stigmatization in the society.