By Edward Chaykovsky
On Monday, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who is a senator back home in the Philippines, argued against a legislative proposal prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, including a person’s manner of clothing. Senate Bill 1271 seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE).
According to GMA News, Pacquiao responded to filed bill by stating that the bible does not allow cross-dressing.
“Even in the Bible, we read that the woman should wear women’s [clothing]; and the man, for men’s wear,” Pacquiao said. “That’s what I believe.”
GMA News reports that Pacquiao said cross-dressing may be used to “commit fraud” and cited the case of Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman who was killed by US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton in 2014.
Pemberton said he choked Laude to death after learning that she was a transgender. He was convicted later that year and sentenced to six to twelve years in a Philippines prison.
Pacquiao said Pemberton "was deceived" by Laude because she was "a guy who dressed up like a woman."
This is not the first time where Pacquiao created a frenzy of controversy over his religious beliefs.
In early 2016, Pacquiao was under heavy fire after stating that homosexuals were "worse than animals." While he apologized for the statement, there was a viral amount of backlash that forced several of his sponsors, like Nike, to drop him. Even HBO Sports, who carry Pacquiao's events, were forced to issue a statement to create distance between the network and Pacquiao's religious position.
Pacquiao created another firestorm in recent months, because of his support for a bill that would see drug pushers executed in the Phillipines. His position on that bill has reportedly made him a target for the drug kingpins that terrorize his country.
The Filipino superstar is slated to return on a date in April. The opponent in question was going to be Jeff Horn, but now Pacquiao is teasing that he could face someone else.