TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Did the LA Weekly Get Manny Pacquiao Barred from The Grove?

Part-time Los Angeles resident Manny Pacquiao might have to find a new place to spend his free time when he’s in town.

The Filipino boxer and politician was barred from The Grove and the television show Extra after the shopping center was tipped off to a quote Pacquiao reportedly told the Examiner, saying that gay men “must be put to death.”

Well, that’s if you listen to the LA Weekly, who took the original article out of context and tipped off The Grove owner Rick Caruso.

This is what the Examiner article originally said:

Pacquiao’s directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation, notwithstanding what Leviticus 20:13 has been pointing all along: “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.”

Pacquiao, bearing a conservative stance on the Reproductive Bill which is still pending in the Philippine Congress for approval even after contemptuous debates, believes the sweeping campaign of Obama favoring the gays and lesbians to legally marry is nothing more than a direct attack on the moral society and against the creative power and will of God.

Pacquiao continues: “God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other.”

“It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.”

And this is how the LA Weekly spun it with the headline of “Manny Pacquiao Says Gay Men Should Be ‘Put to Death’”:

Manny Pacquiao, who lives and trains in Los Angeles, is probably in deep shit in this liberal city of brotherly love.

That’s because the boxing champion said that gay men “must be put to death.”

Really. In a recent interview with the National Conservative Examiner the fighter quoted the Bible in relaying his feelings about President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage:

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.

Um. Okay. He was quoting Leviticus 20:13.

Pacquiao also said:

God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other. It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of Old.

See the difference?

Granville Ampong, who wrote the piece for the Examiner, has demanded an apology from the LA Weekly and USA Today (who also twisted his words):

As we see, nowhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such. I have simply reminded in my column how God made it clear in the Old Testament time that such practice of same-sex marriage is detestable and strictly forbidden, in as much as God wants to encourage his people practices that lead to health and happiness and fullness of life. As my style of literary writing suggests in almost all of my columns, the critical thoughts I tied up in the structure of thoughts I wanted to convey pertinent to this issue at hand do not translate Pacquiao’s point of view, however conservative I am in my exposition.

And the same text has now been grossly misconstrued and regarded as Pacquiao’s text, that which is not.

I hereby demand both Weir and Romero to apologize to Pacquiao. They, being writers for USA Today and LA Weekly respectively, should have a better reading comprehension than I do, rhetorically.

The Grove didn’t do their research and immediately barred Pacquiao from the mall and cancelled his Extra interview Tuesday with Mario Lopez:

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.

And for the record, Pacquiao also released a statement Wednesday regarding his stance:

“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 said.

Pacquiao explained his true feelings towards the gay community.

Pacquiao said: “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. What I’m critical off are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God,”

Let’s see if the folks over at the LA Weekly stand by their original story. Whether it was intentional or not, it appears the Pacquiao story was seriously taken out of context. A lot of this confusion could have been resolved if  Ampong’s article wasn’t as confusing. Mixing in such a polarizing Bible verse following a quote from Pacquiao is probably not the best move as a writer.

Regardless, Pacquiao should be allowed to shop and fight through teenybopper crowds at The Grove like the rest of us.

Update, 11:56 a.m.: The LA Weekly has updated their original story and wrote the following:

* Update, May 16, 10:30 a.m.: Pacquiao’s original interviewer, Granville Ampong, is now saying that he himself quoted Leviticus 20:13 in his article — so the words “put to death” never came out of Pacquiao’s mouth. And the boxer tells ABS-CBN that “I only gave out my opinion that same sex marriage is against the law of God… I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet.”

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!