There are about half a dozen “boycott the Grove” profiles on Facebook today. The one group which boasts membership in the double digits is apparently signing people up against their will. It’s encouraging that none of them are getting much traction, but they do serve to show the dishonesty which permeates the Religious Right.

These sites argue that the brief “banning” (from The Grove) of Manny Pacquiao happened because he took a stand against same-sex marriage. Curiously, not one of them notes that the “ban” was lifted after Pacquiao affirmed his stand against same-sex marriage.

The fact is, Pacquiao was not banned for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Thousands of Angelenos are opposed to same-sex marriage, and some institutions (such as the Catholic Church) have made such opposition an article of faith. Dennis Prager and R.J. Moeller have expressed their opposition loudly and publicly, on the internet and over the radi0. In all his years of public opposition (including testifying before Congress in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act) Prager has never been banned from The Grove. Indeed, he is ignoring his own call for a boycott by signing books tomorrow night at The Americana (another Los Angeles mall owned by the same people who own The Grove).

Pacquiao was deemed “persona non grata” for a brief time because a poorly-written article in a conservative publication made it seem as though he was endorsing the Bible’s call for the execution of practicing homosexuals. That article states:

“God’s words first … obey God’s law first before considering the laws of man,” says Pacquiao, addressing Obama’s pronoucement on legalizing same-sex marriage during an exclusive interview Friday night with the National Conservative Examiner in his residence at the Palazzo Complex  in Los Angeles here in California.

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.”

Several news organizations, including the L.A. Weekly, picked up the story and interpreted the unattributed quote as being from Pacquiao, as apparently the preceding two quotes had been.

However, as Pacquiao later clarified, he doesn’t think practicing homosexuals should be put to death, and hasn’t even read Leviticus. The author of the article was simply quoting God, not Pacquiao.

Now, either the swarms of religious Conservatives calling for a boycott of The Grove don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying homosexuals should be put to death,  or they’re simply ignoring the fact that it is that sentiment which led to the ban, not “opposition to same-sex marriage.” Pacquiao still affirms his opposition to same-sex marriage, but neither he (nor Prager, nor Moeller, nor any of the other opponents to same-sex marriage) are unwelcome at The Grove.

One wonders what those calling for a boycott were hoping to accomplish in the first place. To “hurt” the owners of a shopping mall, as Prager stated it was his objective to do, one must presumably persuade store owners who are leasing space at the mall to move their retail operations elsewhere. Otherwise, a boycott is just hurting the innocent store owners, who must still honor their contracts and pay the same rents with diminished revenues.

It seems that perhaps they didn’t reason things through.

Advertisements