|Homophobic Atlanta Minister Accused of Sexual Impropriety by Two Men
By Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Lez Get Real
September 22, 2010
Apparently the ex-gay therapy does not work too well, and usually seems to end badly for those who try to hide their sexuality. Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta is being sued by two young men from his church stating that he coerced them into a sexual relationship. Bishop Long, of course, denies the allegations, but the prominent pastor of a twenty-five thousand member megachurch in the Atlanta had his lawyer, Craig Gillen, state that Long “categorically denies the allegations. We find it unfortunate that these two young men would take this course of action.”
According to the two men, who are now twenty and twenty-one, Long seduced them when they were seventeen and eighteen using cars, money, clothes, jewelry, international trips, access to celebrities and his power as a pastor. Long is vehemently anti-LGBT and has spoken out to try and get a national ban on same-sex marriages written into the Constitution as well as counseling lesbians and gays to become straight. In 2004, he and Bernice King lead a march to Martin Luther King Jr.’s grave to call for a Constitutional Amendment which would define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Bernice King is also a pastor at Long’s church, as was Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr.
According to B.J. Bernstein, the plaintiffs attorney, the relationships began after the two men were past the legal age of consent in Georgia. He stated “Defendant Long has utilized his spiritual authority to coerce certain young male members. . .into engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification.” One of the two men is being charged in relation to a break in at Long’s offices, which Long’s lawyer Gillen seems to feel is the motive behind the suit.
Bernstein has said that she contacted the US Attorney’s Office this month after becoming aware of the allegations. She is unaware of what they will do about them. She has not contacted DeKalb County law enforcement due to his close ties to the county officials, a not uncommon problem in Georgia. Given the allegations, there may not be any criminal charges in this case, but it creates a major problem for Long who has actively campaigned against homosexuality.Long has been pastor of New Birth since 1987.
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