Dear Manny: X users react
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao was one of the week’s biggest stories, but it was not for boxing.
This week, Pacquiao made the news because of his much-publicized views on people in same-sex unions. After saying they were "mas masahol pa sa hayop" (worse than animals), Pacquiao drew a lot of flak from the LGBT community and gender advocates.
MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm, picked 5 posts from X which captured the sentiments of the online community.
X is a free platform for expression made for, and run by, the Rappler community.
Views on X
When Pacquiao commented on the issue, he admitted that his religion influences his views – something he has previously said.
But as Rappler's Fritzie Rodriguez pointed out, there is a cost associated with putting religion above everything else.
When people refuse to consider a world outside their religions, they allow the status quo to perpetuate, restricting some people's access to rights, and sentencing them to an unaccepting world.
"Think of a young transgender woman who is ridiculed at school. Her teachers and classmates, and even her family, do not understand her. There is no law to protect her against discrimination, her own country sees her as a joke. Some Filipinos still think homophobia is fiction, blind to the blood of all the LGBT Filipinos we lost over the years," Rodriguez wrote.
Religious arguments have prevented laws for divorce, anti-discrimination, abortion, and same-sex unions from passing, and legislators like Pacquiao have cited scripture to defend their stands. (READ: When politicos obsess over god)
Other posts questioned Pacquiao's stance on LGBT rights and reactions on social media. Here are some of them:
1. LGBT rights as human rights
Tinay Palabay, a member of the LGBT group Kapederasyon, emphasized how members of their community are just as human as Pacquiao and are just as capable of forming meaningful relationships with their partners.
"I am as human as you are, with the fundamental right to live, to freely express my opinions, to be a productive citizen, to form social contracts, unions and relationships, to fight for what I believe is a genuinely democratic and liberating world," the human rights activist wrote. (READ: To Manny Pacquiao)
2. Think before you speak (or tweet)
An X post from blogger Lady Dy focused on how people reacted to Pacquiao's comments on social media.
Dy wondered if the people who were reacting to Pacquiao's statements were doing so too quickly. She thought that, just as he may not have moderated his speech, so too do many netizens who do not think before they tweet.
"Sa insidenteng ito ay pakatatandaan, isipin muna ang sasabihin bago ito pakawalan," she reminded readers. (In this incident, remember: think of what you're going to say before you release it.) (READ: Is it too late now to say sorry?)
3. We're all like Pacquiao
Pacquiao is not the only one who has said something offensive, argued Yonder Limits, pointing to Vice Ganda's remark that broadcaster Jessica Soho was like a pig. Ordinary citizens have also insulted other people, like how people frequently poke fun at Pacquiao's mother, Dionisia.
For Yonder Limits, "respect begets respect," and called on readers to reexamine how they treated others before condemning Pacquiao. (READ: Fairness and equality)
4. The dangers of a literal interpretation
For X user Kylie Kyle, interpreting the Bible literally would be ridiculous, pointing to outmoded ideas like banning the mixing of fabric, slavery, and stoning.
If people can move on from stoning, they can also move on from banning same-sex unions on the basis of scripture alone, the post argued. What Kyle suggested instead was for people to focus on love and people's reasons for marrying. (READ: Love has no labels)
5. Hypocrisy: The greater sin
While Christian doctrine suggests that same-sex marriage is a sin, J Gan said there are greater sins that go unpunished. He argued that the same people joining Pacquiao in condemning homosexuals are hypocrites for engaging in sins like gossip and adultery.
Like Kylie Kyle, Gan said people should go back to focusing on love. He wrote: "We have our own interpretations about almost everything. Despite this, we can all agree that love is and will never be considered a sin." (READ: Manny, and his horde of monkeys)
How about you? What do you think of Pacquiao or same-sex unions? Share your thoughts on X, and continue the discussion! – Bea Orante/Rappler.com