A former Miss Universe winner has apologised after saying in an interview that she wants a gay child to dress her and do her make-up.
Pia Wurtzbach, a Filipino model who was crowned Miss Universe 2015, made the comments in an interview for TV show Tonight with Boy Abunda.
In the interview, Ms Wurtzbach, 28, explained why she wanted a gay child.
She said: “I really believe they would take care of you when you grow old. This is not to say that you would not be taken care of if your child is straight, but based on my experience, a gay person has an extraordinary way of taking care of you.
“I want to experience having someone who is excited to dress me up, to do my makeup, to take care of me. He would be like my best friend.
“I imagine my child would be my best friend, and he’s gay.”
Her comments were roundly criticised online.
One critic accused her of being “another straight girl treating gay men as accessories.”
Another added: “I know it didn’t come from a place of malice but if you truly want to be an ally of our community please be wary of the implications of your statements.”
Ms Wurtzbach, who has voiced support for LGBT people previously, eventually addressed the backlash.
Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “Shocked to see some comments online about what I said at TWBA. 😞😮Please don’t misinterpret what I said. I have high regards for the LGBT.
“It was just a fun interview, guys! Meant no disrespect at all. I love you all. Happy holidays everyone!”
She added: “Meant no malice at all. I didnt mean to offend anyone. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.
“Lesson learned: always always be cautious with what you say.”
Ms Wurtzbach also pinned an article about LGBT rights from earlier in the year to the top of her Twitter feed.
In the piece for Time, Ms Wurtzbach explained: “My younger sister and I were raised by a single mother in Cagayan de Oro, a multi-ethnic environment and burgeoning city in the southern part of the Philippines.
“Growing up in such a diverse culture taught me the virtue of acceptance early in life and made me recognize that tolerance should be the norm, not the exception.
“I am proud that the Philippines is every day becoming a more tolerant community; however, my liberal opinions on many social issues sometimes conflict with Christianity’s teachings.
“I myself owe a lot to the LGBTQ community, many of whom are my closest friends. Without their accepting attitudes toward my own flaws and struggles, I would not be where I am today.
“But while we are beginning to see the seeds of change in the Catholic church, the LGBTQ community in the Philippines doesn’t yet enjoy equal rights.
“Perhaps my non–traditional family unit allowed me to accept others’ differences without judgement and has made me proud to advocate for LGBTQ rights as a Christian.
“In fact, I find the strength to do just that through my faith. Undoubtedly, there will continue to be times when my faith and secular opinions clash, but in those moments, I find comfort in an old saying: ‘Live and let live’.
The Philippines is one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, with a 2014 poll finding that 73 percent of Filipinos believe homosexuality should be accepted.
However, there has been little in the way of concrete progress recently.
There are no national LGBT anti-discrimination laws, no recognition of same-sex marriage, and the Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as “a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman”.
The country’s notoriously volatile President Rodrigo Duterte has made a number of erratic comments on LGBT rights, changing his stance on gay unions several times.
During the run-up to his presidential election, Duterte suggested he would push for legislation to allow same-sex unions.
He later reversed his stance and ruled out gay unions, saying: ” That is their [Western] culture. That’s for them.
“That can’t apply to us, because we are Catholics. And there is the civil code, which states you can only marry a woman for me, and for a woman to marry a man.
“That’s the law in the Philippines.”
But this month he reverted to his original stance, once again suggesting he would support same-sex unions.
Speaking to an LGBT rights gathering, Duterte said: “I said I am for [same] sex marriage if that is the trend of the modern times. If that will add to your happiness, I am for it,
The leader added that he “doesn’t have a problem with a man marrying a man” and hinted that “we will have to change the law” to allow same-sex weddings.
A statement from Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said: “President Duterte is the president of all Filipinos. This administration has long espoused inclusivity and sensitivity. We make no distinction. We are all Filipinos enjoying our rights, freedom and equality before the law.”
He defended the justice system in the country, over international fears about his enthusiastic support for executions of accused criminals
Duterte claimed that even if criminals are sent to prison, they become “beyond reform” because they “would have acquired latent homosexuality”.
According to the Manila Times, he said: “[Convicts] are already monsters in the sense that they are incapable of establishing a relationship with a woman.
“They develop aberration of the mind. They do not want to get out of prison because they get free food there…and they have lovers, they want to return to prison [to be] with their lovers.”
He insisted: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That’s the basic law of the jungle. If you did kill someone, you pay for it with your life. It is retribution.”
The leader has previously publicly admitted killing suspected criminals during his term as mayor of Davao City.
Duterte made homophobic comments about US Ambassador Philip Goldberg last year, saying: “I had an argument with their gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off.”