Manny Pacquiao claims gay couples are "worse than animals"

Manny Pacquiao claims gay couples are 'worse than animals'

Manny Pacquiao has described same-sex couples as "worse than animals" in a TV interview as part of his campaign for a senate seat in the Philippines.

The eight-time world boxing champion has recently reinvented himself as a conservative Bible-bearing politician ahead of the country's May elections.

He sparked a mass of criticism in the Philippines when he said: "It's common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female."

"If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals," Pacquiao told local broadcaster TV5 in an interview aired earlier this week.

The country has banned gay marriage due to strong opposition from the Catholic Church, where four out of five people practice the faith.

Gay marriages are officiated at small churches but the unions are not recognised by the church or the state.

The 37-year-old is a member of the House of Representatives in the Philippines, but spends much of his time away from Manilla in preparation for fights.

Despite Pacquiao's poor attendance record in the House, he is expected to win the May election due to his ever-increasing popularity in his homeland.

Today, Pacquiao posted a picture of himself with his wife on Instagram in an apparent response to the controversy.

"I rather obey the Lord's command than obeying the desires of the flesh," Pacquiao said.

"I'm not condemning anyone, but I'm just telling the truth of what the Bible says."

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