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Manny Pacquiao banned from The Grove after gay marriage comment mix-up

May 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao has been banned from The Grove where he was scheduled to do a media interview after anti-gay comments that were attributed to the fighter in a recent interview.

Pacquiao was interviewed by blogger Granville Ampong which was posted to theexaminer.com. In the article, Pacquiao shared an unfavorable take on the president's recent support for same-sex marriage. However, confusion occurred when Ampong quoted a bible verse but did not clarify that Pacquiao did not cite the verse himself.

But the blunder resulted in The Grove's developer Rick Caruso halting a planned Pacquiao interview at the shopping mall for the TV show "Extra."

The Grove tweeted "Boxer Manny Pacquiao is not welcome at The Grove. The Grove is a gathering for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance."

Some agree with The Grove's decision, but not all.

"Just by voicing your opinion, you shouldn't be banned from anywhere. This is a free country, you should be able to say whatever you want," said Roma Khan of Hollywood.

There was no sign of Pacquiao on Wednesday at the tattoo shop/merchandise store he owns in Hollywood or at the gym he frequents.

But Pacquiao did address the issue in an interview with the Associated Press.

"I told (the reporter) I'm against same-sex marriage," Pacquiao said. "He said, 'Why?' I said, 'It's the law of God.' That's all I said."

Pacquiao also mentioned his favorite Bible verse in the interview. "My favorite verse in the Bible is 'Love one another,' and 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself,"' Pacquiao said. "It's in the Bible: Do not judge. I'm not judging."

The author of the article has apologized for the confusion his article has caused and confirms Pacquiao never pointed to a particular Bible verse.

Still, the Courage Campaign is calling for Pacquiao's sponsors like Nike to drop the boxer.

Despite the clarification from the author, The Grove still says Pacquiao is not allowed at their mall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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