Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has come out swinging against US President Barack Obama's personal endorsement of same-sex marriage.In an interview with the National Conservative Examiner, the religious Pacquiao said Obama's view was nothing more than a direct attack on the morals of society and the will of God.This what the seven-time boxing legend had to say,
Recently voted Forbes' fourth most influential athlete, the Filipino described same-sex marriage as an "abomination" and went on to say that America should be the model of morality for other countries to emulate. Pacquiao, currently the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion and regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, already has a burgeoning career out of the ring. He is a member of the Philippines legislature, hosts a weekly TV game show and has his own vegetable business. He is also hoping to become a leading Christian evangelist after having a religious "awakening."God's words first ... obey God's law first before considering the laws of man. 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.
Last month Obama became the first US president to say publicly that he backed gay marriage. Although many politicians, showbiz celebrities and commentators have expressed views on the contentious issue, high-profile members of the sporting community have been largely silent.
In Minnesota, the political impact of President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage will be tested this fall, where opponents of a proposed gay marriage ban are hoping the president's enduring popularity here will help persuade skeptical Democrats to vote it down.
Obama's trip to Minneapolis on Friday comes three weeks after he announced his full support for the right of same-sex couples to wed, and it's his first trip since then to a state that will definitely have a gay marriage ban on the November ballot. Voters in Washington, Maine and Maryland - three other states Obama won in 2008 - are expected to vote on gay marriage.
Minnesota's version, which locals call the "marriage amendment," would toughen current limits on gay rights and etch the ban into the state constitution. Obama won 54 percent of the vote in the state and is expected to win it again this year, so opponents of the ban are hoping enough Minnesotans follow the president's self-described evolution on gay marriage so they can defeat it.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney has yet to open an office in Minnesota, and it's unclear whether he will devote resources to trying to win the Democratic-leaning state that typically sees a certain degree of presidential campaign action every four years. If it doesn't become a seriously contested presidential battleground, it's likely the amendment would fail if opponents could simply persuade everyone who votes for Obama to vote against the amendment.
John Murphy, an expert on presidential rhetoric at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said it's not a stretch to think some Democrats previously unlikely to vote in favor of gay rights would be won over by Obama. When presidents take a new stand on a hot-button social issue, Murphy said, it can motivate dedicated party followers to change their own views and stay on the same page as their party's leader.
Still, supporters of gay marriage - even in traditionally Democratic states - have had little success convincing voters, losing all 32 recent statewide votes on the issue. Any gains for gay marriage supporters nationally have come through court decisions or legislative action.The electoral losing streak is one that gay-rights activists in Minnesota and nationally desperately hope to halt this fall. The last year has shown a succession of national polls with support for gay marriage exceeding 50 percent, most recently a Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week finding 53 percent of respondents in favor.
In 2008, Californians gave Obama 61 percent of the vote over John McCain while simultaneously overturning a state Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage. The chief strategist in the California push against gay marriage, Frank Schubert, was recently announced as the campaign manager for Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition of evangelical and Catholic groups working to pass Minnesota's amendment. Chuck Darrell, spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage, said Obama's recent shift for gay marriage generated interest and enthusiasm for his group.
Minnesota's gay-marriage supporters aren't pinning all their hopes on Obama. Minnesotans United is reaching out to Republicans, citing evidence that the split over gay marriage is more generational than partisan. Scott Cottington, a Minnesota-based national GOP strategist said his kids, both in their early 20s, "think gay marriage is a basic civil right."
Romney opposes gay marriage and would limit recognition of gay relationships to letting states offer some rights to same-sex couples. He opposes civil unions if they extend benefits identical to marriage.
Representatives for Minnesotans United and the Obama campaign said there are no plans to coordinate campaigns, but the two groups could find mutual benefit in getting out the youth vote.
The president is scheduled to talk about jobs and attend a political fundraiser in Minneapolis, but Carlbom, of Minnesotans United, said he hoped Obama would continue to talk about his support for gay marriage.