Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lawsuit accuses Bishop Eddie Long of coercing men into sex

Posted By on Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 7:40 PM

What a way to end your day.

CNN reports that two men have filed a lawsuit against Bishop Eddie Long that alleges the larger-than-life leader of DeKalb County's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church coerced them into having sex.

The suits, filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex.

"Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," the suits allege.

According to CNN's report, the suit — one of two reportedly filed today — claims some of those alleged sexual relationships were carried out during trips across the country and in such far-flung places as New Zealand. The report says the suit also claims Long and church employees gave the plaintiffs cash and cars and paid for college tuition.

A Long spokesman told CNN that the church categorically denies the accusations. The church's lawyers will fight them once they review the lawsuit, he told the cable news channel. Long's attorney also denied the allegations to the AJC and said it was "unfortunate that these two young men have chosen to take this course of action."

Long, who's considered one of the most vocal practitioners of prosperity gospel, has also developed a reputation as one of the LGBT community's biggest haters. Georgia Voice brings us up to speed:

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2007 that Long "is one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement."

In 2004, Long led his church of some 20,000 members to support the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Georgia. This included leading a march through the city of Atlanta to the Martin Luther King Center with Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., marching at his side.

In 2006, the SPLC reported, "Long extended an invitation to gays and lesbians looking for a 'cure' to attend a 'Sexual Orientation and Reorientation' conference at New Birth."

Keep an eye on his tweets for any inspirational, uplifting messages, folks!

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