March 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Reports: Manny Pacquiao to meet with Philippine LGBT activists

Manny Pacquiao, gay news, Washington Blade

Reports indicate that Manny Pacquiao on March 8, 2016, will meet with a group of Philippine LGBT rights advocates. (Photo by inboundpass; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Reports indicate that Manny Pacquiao will met with a group of Philippine LGBT rights advocates on Tuesday.

Dindi Tan, a former member of the Quezon City Pride Council board of directors who is a transgender advocate, wrote on her Facebook page that the boxer had invited “random national LGBT leaders” from Manila to General Santos City “to dialogue with him.”

Tan wrote that she initially accepted Pacquiao’s invitation, but she changed her mind.

“I initially said yes,” said Tan. “I was overcome by my anger and consumed by his recent pronouncements against LGBTs that I immediately wanted to be flown to GenSan to show him how deeply pained we are as a community. But, after a careful thought, I realized that his timing was suspect.”

Jonas Bagas, another Philippine LGBT rights advocate, said on his Facebook page that he too declined the invitation to meet with Pacquiao.

“I was asked by a fellow activist if I am open to the idea, and if I’m free to go,” wrote Bagas. “I said no.”

The Washington Blade has been unable to confirm the names of the activists who have agreed to meet with Pacquiao.

Boxer: Same-sex marriage worse than ‘sex between animals’

Reports of the meeting broke less than a month after Pacquiao said marriage rights for same-sex couples are “more disgusting than (sex) between animals” during an interview with a Philippine website.

Pacquiao — who is running for the Philippine Senate — later apologized for his comments while reiterating his opposition to nuptials for gays and lesbians. Nike described them as “abhorrent” in a statement that announced it had cut ties with the boxer.

Pacquiao later posted a biblical verse to his Instagram account that calls for the killing of gays. ABS-CBN News, a Philippine television station, reported the post had more than 18,000 likes before he deleted it.

Pacquiao on Monday did not return the Blade’s request for comment.

Update: Ging Cristobal, a Philippine LGBT rights advocate who works for OutRight Action International, wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday that she is among those who met with Pacquiao.

“All of us who went to the dialogue hated Pacquiao’s irresponsible remark referring to LGBTI people as ‘worse than animals’ and all of us want to give a piece of our mind and tell him the negative impact of his stupid remark to the lives of LGBTI people and their loved ones,” wrote Cristobal.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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