Manny Pacquiao meets George Orwell at the mall

The L.A. Times reports that boxer Manny Pacquiao has been publicly banned for life from The Grove, a popular shopping and entertainment complex in Los Angeles. 

The statement from The Grove’s vice-president of corporate affairs, Bill Reich, says: “Based on news reports of statements made by Mr. Pacquiao, we have made it be known that he is not welcome at The Grove and will not be interviewed here, now or in the future.  The Grove is a gathering place for all Angelenos and not a place for intolerance.”

Well, except for intolerance of Manny Pacquiao, and presumably the large number of people who agree with him, which is now standard operating procedure.  George Orwell could not have made this up.  He certainly wouldn’t have been so comically obvious as to name the totalitarian V.P. character in the story “Reich.”

As you might have guessed from the familiar combination of “tolerance” rhetoric and militant intolerance on display, Pacquiao got booted from The Grove – where he was scheduled to do a TV interview – because he dissents from gay marriage orthodoxy.  From the Times account:

In an interview with National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao addressed President Obama’s recent endorsement of gay marriage.

“God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man,” Pacquiao told the Examiner. “God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married. It should not be of the same sex, so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.”

The article goes on to say that “Pacquiao’s directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation.”

The Examiner story in question included a quote from the dreaded Book of Leviticus, written in a somewhat confusing manner by correspondent Granville Ampong, who like Pacquiao is of Phillipine extraction.  The way Ampong inserted this quote led some to conclude Pacquiao said it, sparking “Manny wants to kill gays” hysteria:

Engaging a radical shift as manifested by his insights shared during Bible studies which lasted more than one hour, around 10:00 p.m., with a song and his substantive prayer, Pacquiao counsels people to “just believe” what the Scripture says.

Pacquiao’s directive for Obama calls societies to fear God and not to promote sin, inclusive of same-sex marriage and cohabitation, notwithstanding what Leviticus 20:13 has been pointing all along: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Pacquiao, bearing a conservative stance on the Reproductive Bill which is still pending in the Philippine Congress for approval even after contemptuous debates, believes the sweeping campaign of Obama favoring the gays and lesbians to legally marry is nothing more than a direct attack on the moral society and against the creative power and will of God.

Ampong has since apologized for any confusion he caused by including this text, and Pacquiao released a statement of clarification, which maintains that he hasn’t even read the Book of Leviticus yet:

Manny Pacquiao has never stated that anyone in the Gay Community deserved death.

His statements were taken out of context, and were not his opinion.

Pacquiao is simply against the marriage of anyone that is not Man and Woman as he believes is stated in theBible.

“I didn’t say that, that’s a lie… I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet,” he said.

Pacquiao does not now and has never believed that people deserve death because of their sexual orientation.

He also said he has a gay relative, and “is not against gay people,” but is critical of “actions that violate the word of God,” which in his opinion includes same-sex marriage.

It doesn’t seem like anyone at The Grove bothered to research the matter or ask Pacquiao for clarification.  Of course, they didn’t expressly state the Leviticus stuff is what got him banned.  Thoughtcrime does not require careful prosecution. 

Ben Shapiro at is not certain that Grove manager Rick Caruso, who repeated the same anti-Manny statement via Twitter, can get away with this:

There is a question as to whether Caruso legally can bar Pacquiao from the premises based on statements Pacquiao has made outside The Grove. In fact, even were Pacquiao to “reasonably exercise” his right to free speech at The Grove, it is likely that the California Supreme Court would uphold his right to do so without being kicked off the premises.

Caruso is in the wrong both morally and legally here. But don’t expect the leftist press to call him out on it. When it comes to bullying, the true bullies are the leftists who maintain that in order to be treated as a normal human being, you must agree with them. And even the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet can’t avoid their heavy fist.

Hopefully everyone who is cool with what happened to Manny Pacquiao will happily accept their fate if someone decides their views are unacceptable and bans them from a public place… without any churlish grumbling on the topics of “freedom of expression” or “tolerance.”