Eight-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao created quite a stir in his country after saying that people in same-sex relationships “are worse than animals”.

The 37-year is presently contesting for a seat in the Philippines senate, the election for which will be held in May.

“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 was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Tuesday.

Vice Ganda, Philippines most popular gay funnyman posted on Twitter hitting back at the boxer saying: “#PrayForMannyPacquiao . Some people think they can judge people like God just because they’ve attended a prayer meeting and read the bible. The senate needs experts on politics and law, not blind prophets.”

There were comments made by other top celebrities too.

Responding to the controversy via social media platform Instagram, Pacquiao initially posted an image of himself with his wife, quoting the bible and writing: “I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desire of the flesh. I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says.”

However, the boxer later apologized for his comments saying: “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand by my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless, you all and I’m praying for you.”

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