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Duterte backs gays in brawl vs Pacquiao

/ 03:45 AM February 18, 2016

Tough-talking presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who once joked that he used to be gay but was reformed,  joined the fray pitting boxing champ Manny Pacquiao against the gay and lesbian community after the Sarangani representative on Monday described same-sex couples as “worse than animals.”

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Duterte expressed support for members of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups in a rally in Bacolod City on Wednesday, according to a statement sent to the Inquirer by Pete Laviña, head of the mayor’s media bureau.

“I’m fine with gays. I have nothing against gays,” Duterte told a crowd of around 2,000 who gathered at SMX in Bacolod City.

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It is not for humans to judge others, the mayor maintained.

Duterte, who pushed for the passage of an antidiscrimination ordinance in Davao, had previously described gays as “children of God.”

“God does not discriminate against people, regardless of color, religion, social class, or gender and sexual preferences,” the mayor said earlier.

“The universe is ruled by the law of a God who is forgiving, merciful, compassionate and loving, the same God who created all of us equal,” he added.

A group of LGBT rights advocates in Davao City, lauded Duterte’s stand, Laviña said.

“It only shows that Duterte remains respectful of the choices of individuals—straight or gay,” said Pidot Villocino, a Duterte supporter.

“We recognize and hail his continued stand against measures and laws that discriminate against us or against other marginalized sectors, laws that are aimed at crippling the freedoms of individuals, including the freedom to be who you are, who you want to be with, or who you love,” he added.

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TAGS: duterte, LGBT, Manny Pacquiao, Rodrigo Duterte
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