This is one of those stories you think has to be a joke, but then it turns out it is all too real — superstar boxer Manny Pacquiao has been banned from stepping foot into The Grove because of anti-gay marriage comments he made. Let me make that clear — a shopping mall doesn’t like a person’s views, so it is preventing him from being there.
In an interview with the National Conservative Examiner, Pacquiao said, “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.”
Okay, that is the man’s opinion, and he is entitled to it whether you agree with him or not (and just for the record, before I am accused of trying to advance the anti-gay marriage agenda, I do not agree with Mr. Pacquiao).
However The Grove apparently doesn’t believe that people are entitled to voice an opinion. On Wednesday, Pacquiao was supposed to appear on “Extra,” which tapes at The Grove. Not anymore, according to a statement The Grove released to LA Weekly:
“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.”
So The Grove is a place for tolerance — as long as you agree with its politics.
This is a very dangerous precedent. Mitt Romney is against gay marriage. If he shows up at The Grove, will he be asked to leave the premises (actually, I would pay to see that happen!)?
What if an employee of The Grove overhears a shopper speaking against gay marriage? Will he or she be escorted away?
And up until a week ago President Obama was publicly against gay marriage. Would he have been welcome at The Grove?
This is just an asinine, politically correct maneuver for publicity that could backfire. After all, Prop 8 did pass in California.