Former beauty queen Miriam Quiambao extended her apology to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community after her statements on “The Bottomline,” Saturday night, were met by negative reactions from a number of netizens.
“I'm sorry LGBT. Perhaps I was too harsh with the words I used. Will do my best to be more sensitive. #respect #nobodysperfect #grace,” the 1999 Miss Universe first runner-up posted on Twitter the evening of April 28.
On Saturday, Quiambao appeared on the Boy Abunda-hosted show as one of that episode’s guest panelists. The show’s guest that night was Bemz Benedito, the First Congressional Nominee of the Ladlad Partylist.
Asked by Abunda about her view on the LGBT community in connection with Christianity at the beginning of the show, Quiambao said, “I’m not a pastor, I’m definitely not an expert; however, the way I understand it is homosexuality is not the one that makes you a sinner. Actually, sexual immorality is what makes you a sinner.”
When asked to give their final words, Quiambao’s statement was even challenged by another panelist Nini Borja, noted by the show as a company president.
Quiambao said, “God made us all for a purpose. And I don’t understand why God made him (Benedito) that way. I feel, though, that in my knowledge of God, God never makes mistakes and He’s not a liar. So however He made him, that’s who he really is.
“However, because God has allowed this to happen in his life, perhaps there is a purpose. And at the end of the day, he will be the one to face God… we’re not in a position to judge because we’re all sinners, we’ve all fallen, and I feel that God will be the one to judge him in the end.
“I’m just hoping that whatever purpose God put him there, he’ll be able to stand face to face with God in peace,” she said at length.
“Can you just enlighten me, Miriam, when you said that is, Bemz is a mistake?” Borja asked, to which Quiambao replied, “God is sovereign. And I’m not saying that I am right or wrong in what I am saying, but I’m basing my beliefs on what is said in the Bible.”
Borja then argued, “If you’re talking of labeling a person as a ‘mistake,’ medyo out-of-bounds na ‘yon. So ang akin lang, if it’s just between labeling you as a ‘man’ or a ‘woman,’ and then kung wala ka do’n sa dalawang ‘yon, you’re already a mistake—I think there’s something wrong with that kind of reasoning.”
“Actually, what I’m saying is God never makes mistakes,” Quiambao interjected.
Borja eventually asked, “But who says that if you’re not a man or a woman, you’re a mistake?”
Quiambao replied, “Well, I never said that. Nobody says that…”
Nevertheless, it should be noted that before the episode ended, Quiambao even praised Benedito “because in spite of the many struggles and the discrimination that he’s experienced from his childhood up to now, I just wanna applaud him for his courage, for standing up to what he believes in and also in behalf of all the members of the LGBT community.”
She continued, “Labels or no labels, I believe everybody deserves the right to feel empowered, to be accepted, to be loved and to display and contribute to the community. And if the purpose for him is to be this, then let it be so. God loves all of us and we deserve to have a space in this world.”
But shortly after the show aired, Twitter users likewise cried foul over Quiambao’s subsequent posts, a couple of which read, “Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth;” and “No offense to the LGBT but the TRuth is the Truth that comes from God. Take it or leave it. We will all face the judgement seat of God."
Apart from calling Quiambao names and spewing cuss words, some also noted their disappointment, hurt and anger along with several other harsh comments.
One even messaged her with, “what TRUTH are you talking about?!this is the truth-u are a bleeping religious stereotype and messianic wannabe!leche!”
In defense, Quiambao tweeted, “I'm sorry that the truth offends some people but it is truth that comes from God. The truth will set you free. Love you.”
She also expressed that she has “nothing against the LGBT community.”
“Mahal ko ang LGBT. That's why I am sharing with you the truth. If you are not ready for it, please don't shoot me. I am just a messenger,” she posted on the same microblogging site.
By JULIEN MERCED C. MATABUENA