A pre-election poll has revealed that former boxer Manny Pacquiao has declined in popularity following his recent comment that gay couples are “worse than animals”.
The percentage of people saying they would vote for Pacquiao in his bid for a seat in the Philippine Senate dropped to 34.8% from 46.9%, reports Channel News Asia.
The survey of 1,800 voters conducted by Pulse Asia from February 15-20 showed that the former world champion placed 11th to 14th among other senatorial candidates.
Although this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Pacquiao’s senatorial chances, he did suffer the greatest drop in popularity out of all the candidates in mentioned in the survey.
Nike ended its business relationship with Pacquiao following the comments, which were made during a televised debate. “It’s just common sense,” he said on the TV5 network. “Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?”
“Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”
The torrent of criticism generated by the statements elicited a semi-apology from the Sarangani Representative. “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT,” the boxer posted on Facebook.
“I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.”
HBO weighed in on the issue of Pacquiao’s anti-gay comments this week ahead of his scheduled bout with Timothy Bradley Jr next month.
“Next month Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. are scheduled to meet in a pay-per-view bout. We have an obligation to both fighters and, therefore, will proceed to produce and distribute that event. However, we felt it important to leave no uncertainty about our position on Mr. Pacquiao’s recent comments toward the LGBTQ community. We consider them insensitive, offensive and deplorable,” the network said in a statement on Wednesday.
“HBO has been a proud home to many LGBTQ stories and couldn’t approach this event without clearly voicing our opinion.”
However, if the fight proceeds it may cost him his chance at election. News outlet Sunstar Philippines reports that Pacquiao could face a disqualification case from the Commission on Elections if he refuses to postpone the fight scheduled for April 9.
Critics claim that pushing through with the fight would give Pacquiao an undue advantage over the other senatorial aspirants as local and national media will cover the boxing match.
© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.