Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prominent anti-gay black pastor accused of sexual coercion

Strange things are happening in Georgia in relation to the lgbt community.

First there is that awful hateful message from the office of Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss to blogger Joe Jervis.

Then there is this huge incident which will most likely, in the next few days hit the Georgia African-American community like a nuclear bomb:

Two Georgia men have filed suit claiming that prominent Atlanta pastor Eddie Long coerced them into 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.

Long is considered one of the nation's top black preachers.

The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, Flagg's suit alleges.

"Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," the suit says.

Long took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 19th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson's suit alleges.

In all fairness, Long's spokesman has denied the charges. But here is why this is significant. Long (above in the picture with former President George Bush) has been extremely verbal about his opposition to gay marriage. According to blogger Rod2.0Beta:

In addition to being one of the nation's most prominent pastors, Long is also among the most vocal critics of gay rights and same-sex marriage in the Black church. In December 2004, one month after voters approved an amendment to the Georgia state Constitution that banned gay marriage, Long led a 25,000 person march against gay rights and marriage equality.

Eddie Long is also the spiritual mentor of the anti-gay Rev. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr and new chair of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization founded by her father more than five decades ago. Julian Bond, the chair of the NAACP and a strong supporter of gay rights, refused to attend the funeral of Coretta Scott King that was held at New Birth MB Church.

And according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Long has also been very vocal in expressing his anti-gay opinions:

"Men can look attractive when they are dirty," writes Bishop Eddie Long in his 1997 book I Don't Want Delilah, I Need You! "We see sweating, dirty, hardworking men on television all the time and we say to one another, 'There's a macho guy.'"

Despite this affinity for sweaty, macho men, Long is one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement. His book, subtitled What a Woman Needs to Know, What a Man Needs to Understand, appeared in the midst of a roaring growth period for Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., near Atlanta. During the mid-'90s, it swelled to over 18,000 congregation members, men and women who worship in a multimillion-dollar complex that's the size of most major universities, spread out on 240 acres of land.

Much of what appears in I Don't Want Delilah was espoused in the videotaped "Back to the Future” sermon Long gave when his church was still small.

"It is the most unattractive thing I have ever seen, when I see women wearing uniforms that men would wear, and women fighting to get in the military!" Long shouted to his congregation then. "The woman gets perverted to turn towards woman … and everybody knows it's dangerous to enter an exit! And everybody knows, lady, if you go to the store and buy these devices [marital aids], it's Memorex! It ain't real!" 

Again, Long's spokesperson says that the charges are not true. However, one cannot help but be reminded of the George Rekers escort scandal which took place earlier this year.

Discuss amongst yourselves. I am sure you have a lot to say.

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DADT filibuster only minor blip on the road to success

I'm a little confused by the Republican filibuster of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in that I don't know who to be miffed at more.

Harry Reid for being so stubborn,

Senator Republicans for being so bullheaded,

President Obama for being so silent,

those who pushed hard for this vote knowing that if it had succeeded, it wouldn't have been a repeal, or

those who are ready to raise hell on this vote in spite of the fact that, if the Republican filibuster had not have succeeded, they would have been the ones quick to remind everyone about how it's not a repeal

Politics is a strange game which makes my head hurt.

So where does this leave the lgbt community? Angry of course and in the position we have been so many times that we can wear out the welcome mat.

But I hope we aren't so angry that we will just sit behind our computer and throw out platitudes of betrayals or wring our hands in abject misery because yet again some with power in society maneuvered us to the back of the bus, so to speak.

Because I refuse to allow this DADT vote to be a negative epitaph on 2010.

We've had a lot of good things happen this year, including:
a man (George Rekers) who made his living off of distorting the lgbt community being exposed as a hypocrite,

an organization of anti-gay liars spending an entire summer making fools of themselves on a bogus "marriage tour,"

our love for each other being affirmed by the courts who at the same time exposed the arguments against marriage equality as the shams that they are,

and having a path set before us by the same courts for a real appeal of DADT, which is the general course of history, i.e. the courts doing what our legislators don't have the guts to do.

So to me, no matter how nauseating it is to swallow, this ridiculous vote by the Senate is only an annoyance, a roadstop when one takes into account what we community accomplished this year.

And that's the important thing to remember. WE accomplished these things. Behind every victory was the work of tireless, faceless activists who will probably never get the credit they deserve. But their work speaks for itself.

Unlike a certain phony, astroturfed, and  heavily funded movement sweeping some parts of the country, the lgbt community is the real deal. We are the real grassroots. Nobody is forking over millions of dollars to us. No one is giving us free television time to repeat phony talking points. No one is giving us any advantage.

Everything we achieve, we achieve it the hard way.

That's probably why the reason why our victories are taking so long to attain. But when they come, and they will, they will be sweet.

So in situations like the Republican filibuster, it's always good to remember that it's not supposed to be easy. No group working for equality ever had anything given to them. Why should the lgbt community be any different?

But resistance to any push for equality doesn't mean that you are losing. It just means that you are winning.

So vent if you must, but don't get discouraged. We aren't losing, no matter what some people try to tell us.

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DADT repeal, Florida's gay adoption ban, Christine O'Donnell and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Today at 2PM: Schmooze with Steve Pougnet - While we cross our fingers regarding the DADT repeal, let's not forget those will work for the repeal.

Sen. Reid is derailing NDAA legislation - Ugh. Come on Reid. Get off the dime and on the ball.

Florida child welfare agency won't take gay man's kids - Excellent news of a sort. Even if the court rules for Florida's gay adoption ban, Martin Gill - the father in the center of the case, won't lose his children.

Christine O’Donnell: Gays Suffer From “Identity Disorder” - I continue to be speechless by O'Donnell. And by the way, her opponent, Chris Coons did not describe himself as a Marxist. He wrote a paper in college in jest. Really I don't think it's going to make a difference to Delaware voters, but it demonstrates just how low some in the media are by misrepresenting this paper to publicly and without apology demonize him.

Value Voter Recap: We're All Tea Partiers Now (Including God) - Just replace President Obama and his Administration with the phrase "homosexual agenda," and you will get the gist of the constant narrative wafting from these folks.

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Rachel Maddow and the resurgence of the culture wars

Watch some or part of this clip by Rachel Maddow about the so-called culture wars. I disagree with her on one thing though - the culture wars aren't "back," so to speak. They never went away:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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