World champion boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao is being called a "hypocrite" and "false prophet" after inflammatory statements he made about gay couples, the BBC reports. Pacquiao, who's in the Philippines' house of representatives and is running for a senate seat in May, was talking to local reporters this week when the subject of homosexuality came up. "It's common sense," he said. "Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals." Other senate candidates tell the Manila Times that Pacquiao's words were "misguided" and "below the belt," and that the born-again Christian needs "enlightenment" and "guidance."
Reaction from the gay community was also swift, including a local group that said Pacquiao's perspective "betrays a shallow understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity" and that he was in danger of being stuck in a time "when the cavemen ruled and the numbskulls roamed the Earth." And gay comedian Vice Ganda tweeted Monday night, "The LGBT is a group of people. We are humans. But not animals. Though we're no saints we will pray for Manny Pacquiao." At first Pacquiao defended his stance, posting Monday that "I'm just telling the truth of what the Bible says," but walked it back somewhat in a Tuesday Facebook post that read: "I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. … 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. I love you all with the love of the Lord. … I'm praying for you." (The world still waits to see if there'll be a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather rematch.)