Gab Valenciano on Manny Pacquiao, same-sex unions

MANILA, Philippines – Joining the personalities who have spoken about the issue, multimedia artist Gab Valenciano gave his view on Manny Pacquiao's recent controversial comments about the LGBT community.

Gab asked his followers to forgive boxer and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao for his remarks on same-sex unions. (READ: Pacquiao: Couples in same-sex unions ‘worse than animals’)

In his Facebook post, Gab said that in spite of Manny's achievements, he isn't the best communicator: "The man is a legend. He has inspired millions through his battles, both through victory and defeat. Only God knows how much he has given back to the community, emotionally, spiritually and financially. We know all these facts very well. 

"We also know that he isn't the brightest man on earth. And that his speech and diction are grade A meme machines. At the end of the day, despite the best of intentions, he had no idea what he was saying and hurt people. A lot of people." (READ: Nike terminates deal with Manny Pacquiao over gay comments)

Gab continued, saying that even great people make mistakes, and that people should try to forgive Manny, as he had already apologized. (WATCH: Pacquiao apologizes for calling gay couples more disgusting than animals)

"Sometimes legends make huge, earth-shattering mistakes (MJ, Kobe), but I strongly believe he shouldn't be dismantled after everything he's done for so many people," wrote Gab. "Years of sacrificing his body for the greater good of Filipinos all around the world should not equate to his downfall by a single mistake. The man apologized. Let us try to forgive him." 

Later, Gab added that he never supported Manny entering politics or the Philippine Basketball Association. "Very disrespectful of the craft and hard work of much more deserving lawmakers and athletes. So much power. So much influence. So little guidance," said Gab on those two points.

Gab also wrote a letter to Christians – including Manny Pacquiao, he said – defending his friends who have been hurt by Manny's words.

In the letter, Gab admitted that he, himself, is a Christian, but also pointed out that not all human beings believe the same things:

"I wholeheartedly believe in mankind. I also believe that mankind isn't perfect, but isn't that the point of being human? Isn't that the point of having a 'higher being' in the first place? I believe that we will continue to make mistakes because it is in our DNA and nature to do so. But it is also in our nature to be better and love one another with everything we've got.

"I have always stood by one specific rule I created for myself long ago: 'Come as you are and I will embrace your existence. You are more than welcome into my life, no matter what.'"

No matter who you are, you can't judge other people, said Gab: "Judgment belongs to Christ and Christ alone. Who are we to judge people who simply and sincerely just long to love others? Listen. If you feel 'these people' have wronged you or God in any way, let them handle it. Stop being annoying. Stop meddling. Share the word, yes. Force it down their throats, no. I would much rather dine with a sincerely gay person than a sincerely hypocritical Christian. There shouldn't be any exemptions."

At the end of his post, Gab said he is not for same-sex unions: "I will say this now with pride (without prejudice), I am not for same-sex relationships/marriage as it directly opposes my entire faith-based ecosystem. But I have found it in my heart to respect it as a part of planet earth. Go ahead and call me a hypocrite. Call me a Christian who compromises. Doesn't matter. My walk is my walk. And I choose love. The moment you choose to love unconditionally will be the moment you free yourself of any sign of judgement, indifference and/or ignorance."

"Just let love win, on all fronts, so we can all experience lives worth living for."

I am compelled to say something about this whole Manny Pacquiao vs LGBT situation. So here goes. Let's quickly face... Posted by Gabriel Valenciano on Wednesday, 17 February 2016

 

In an interview published on February 15, Manny said that people in same-sex unions were worse than animals, because it was "common sense" for animals to mate with the opposite sex.

The next day, Manny apologized for his words and explained in a separate statement that he doesn't condemn those in the lesbian, gay, transgender, and transgender community, but he is against same-sex marriage.

Still, Manny's comments have drawn a lot of flak online from the LGBT community, and from politicians and celebrities at home and abroad. – Rappler.com