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Manny Pacquiao has sparked controversy for calling gays “worse than animals” in a recent TV interview.

The boxer’s comments drew ire from gay Filipino celebrities and a rights group, as well as heated discussion.

The former world champion, who positions himself as a conservative Christian politician, is running for a senate seat in May elections.

The largely Catholic Philippines remains conservative on gay rights.

Manny Pacquiao, who is a member of the Philippines house of representatives, was speaking to local station TV5 earlier this week for its election coverage.

In a clip posted online, Manny Pacquiao tells the interviewer: “It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?”

“The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”

Photo Instagram

Photo Instagram

Filipino comedian Vice Ganda and singer Aiza Seguerra, who are openly gay, have criticized Manny Pacquiao for his comments, calling him a “hypocrite” and a “false prophet”.

Local gay rights organization and political group Ladlad condemned his remarks and issued a call to voters to boycott Manny Pacquiao.

On February 16, Manny Pacquiao, who has won world titles in eight different weight divisions, posted a picture of himself with his wife on Instagram in an apparent response to the controversy.

He said: “I rather obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desires of the flesh. I’m not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says.”

The furor has split the online world, where many Christian followers have shown support for Manny Pacquiao while others have condemned him for his views.

Manny Pacquiao remains hugely popular in the Philippines, and has spoken frequently about his renewed Christian faith. He represents his wife’s home province of Sarangani in the Philippines’ House of Representatives.

A row has broken out over the sale of a Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton at auction in New York.

The rare Tyrannosaurus Bataar, 7-metre long (23 ft), was bought by an anonymous bidder for more than $1 million in New York.

The sale went ahead despite protests from the Mongolian president.

Elbegdorj Tsakhia says the skeleton, unearthed in the Gobi Desert, came from Mongolia and that exporting fossils found in the country is illegal.

The auctioneers, Heritage Auctions, say the specimen was imported legally. A restraining court order in the name of Elbegdorj Tsakhia was put on the sale.

The rare Tyrannosaurus Bataar, 7-metre long (23 ft), was bought by an anonymous bidder for more than $1 million in New York

The rare Tyrannosaurus Bataar, 7-metre long (23 ft), was bought by an anonymous bidder for more than $1 million in New York

Tyrannosaurus Bataar is an Asian cousin of the meat-eating Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The skeleton in New York is thought to be one of the most complete and well preserved ever discovered.

“When it comes to dinosaurs, number one, dinosaurs in general are extremely rare. But the rarest of the dinosaurs are the carnivores, the meat eaters – the top of the food chain if you will,” David Herskowitz, director of natural history at Heritage Auctions, told APTV.

“And, of all the meat eaters that are out there, the most famous are the Tyrannosaurids. They are the most desirable, but they are the most elusive. They are the most difficult to find. Even though they are so big, there are not that many of them around.”

Found about seven years ago in the Gobi Desert, the T-Bataar remained in storage in England.

The T-Bataar was slightly smaller and had longer arms than its cousin, David Herskowitz said.

This is the second Tyrannosaurid to be sold at auction, says David Herskowitz. The first was a T-Rex named Sue sold in 1997 for more than $8 million.

Lawyers for the auction house say the sale did not break any US laws – but it will not be confirmed until it has been approved by a US court.

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