Friday, September 24, 2010

Eddie Long rumored to step down amid possibly more allegations of sexual coercion

It is usually here that I come out with my Know Your LGBT History segments, but due to the extreme nature of the following, it has been pre-empted. And by the way, let's have some feedback  on my Know Your LGBT History segments. Not only is it good for my ego to know that people are reading it, but it helps me in deciding whether or not I want to keep featuring them.

The walls seems to be closing on Bishop Eddie Long.

From Black Voices:

It has been reported that the Bishop Eddie Long is going to step down as pastor after his sermon set to be delivered on Sunday. Long is currently the pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. He was recently challenged by three young men who filed suit against the pastor for allegedly coercing them into sex.

There are also reports that as many as 30 young men have contacted the plaintiff's attorney, BJ Bernstein, in an effort to file suits of their own or join the existing lawsuit.

Bishop Eddie Long's sex scandal has been in the headlines of national news for several days. Since the story broke, there have been suspicious pictures released that feature Bishop Long wearing muscle shirts and spandex, posing in the bathroom. Some have wondered why Long would send these images to his "spiritual sons."

On the Bishop Eddie Long sex fiasco, which I discussed this morning on MSNBC, there appear to be three angles of consideration: Legality, morality and hypocrisy. Legally, one has to determine if Long violated his fiduciary responsible to take care of the young men under his guidance. Secondly, there is the question of whether the men he may have slept with were of legal age and whether or not there was coercion.

I wasn't aware of the claims of 30 young man, but there has surfaced a fourth lawsuit:

A fourth young male member of Bishop Eddie Long's megachurch is suing the prominent pastor, claiming Long coerced him into a sexual relationship.

The lawsuit was filed by Spencer LeGrande, a member of New Birth Charlotte. New Birth Charlotte is a satellite church run by Long in Charlotte, N.C. The lawsuit said Long told LeGrande "I will be your dad" and invited the 17-year-old to journey to Kenya with him in July 2005. LeGrande said that Long gave him a sleeping pill on that trip and that the two engaged in sexual acts.

The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of impropriety, but attorney B.J. Bernstein has said all four of the men who filed lawsuits consented to being identified publicly.

Meanwhile, pastors in Atlanta are gathering to pray for Long:

I predicted it a while back. This thing has hit like a nuclear bomb.

Hat tip to Joe.My.God. for the video

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National Organization for Marriage refuted again and other Friday midday news briefs

But first, it would seem that what I wrote this morning had a negative effect on some of you. Most specifically:

Where the f#@! have you been for the last 40 years? You must have had your head up your a#!, because a lot of us HAVE been fighting the good fight against the evagleicals and the GOP. How dare you pretend that we haven't. Many of us raged against them as we watched our brothers and sisters die of AIDS, while they callously blamed them for their illness. We have fought long and hard, that is why it is now so offensive that those who promised to be our allies have turned on us. You accuse us of not standing up to the real enemy, yet you have the nerve to attack US, your own community? Are WE the real enemy? You should be f@%!ing ashamed of yourself. As far as I'm concerned you can go f&$;!( yourself.

My response:

You prove my point. Could you divert that energy and rage - sans the profanity- to groups like frc and afa. They are to blame for the calamities you described.

Now onto news briefs:

National Organization for Marriage refuted again:

Pawlenty Joins FRC's Watchmen to Fight Pawns of Satan - Another pathetic bid for the presidency by Pawlenty. I guess he got tired of fighting "crossdressing third grade teachers."

Anti-gay megachurch pastor denies seducing young men - Eddie Long makes a statement on the sexual coercion charges.

Dumbest homophobic mess EVER: Indianapolis bakery offended by rainbow cupcakes - You read that right.

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Gay rights groups continue to miss the real enemy

I'm going to say something that will probably get some people angry.

All of this anger against the Democrats and the Obama Administration, while appropriate and on some levels very useful, also underlines just how much off the mark the lgbt community is.

The point came to my mind when I read the following piece about GetEqual, the direct action group getting a lot of attention:

GetEqual has a real problem with the Democrats who have introduced (and often passed in the House) these bills for gay rights but they never go after the Republicans who kill these bills in the Senate. In fact, they don’t even go after the few Democrats who helped to kill these bills. They would rather blame Obama… over and over and over again.

The video they released features Obama, Barney Frank, and the HRC and outwardly blames them for the failure of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to be repealed… But Barney Frank is a member of the House – which did in fact repeal DADT. DADT was blocked from coming to a vote in the Senate. Two Democrats from Arkansas helped Republicans to block it… But Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor are missing from GetEqual’s video.

One must really contemplate who GetEqual is really working for.

The piece was criticizing videos made by GetEqual attacking HRC, Obama, and Barney Frank for supposedly breaking promises they made to the lgbt community. Now I don't agree with everything in that piece. I totally resented the negative comments said about blogging buddy and mentor, Pam Spaulding. However, the piece got me thinking.

Earlier this year when Family Research Council spokesman Peter Sprigg commented on Hardball that he wants "homosexual behavior to be outlawed," where were we?

Or how about when he said he wanted us exported out of the United States?

And don't get me started on the many, many, many anti-gay comments of Bryan Fischer. Other than People for the American Way's statements, there has been no push back against Fischer or the American Family Association, his employer. At least not by the lgbt community.

In fact, when folks like Fischer, Sprigg, etc. say the things they say about us, where is our anger? Where are the vigorous statements from the Human Rights Campaign or those who consume themselves with labeling HRC as "Gay, Inc.?"

But yet some of us can heckle President Obama at a speech. And some of us can write pointlessly nasty comments on places like Facebook.

I think sometimes we are aiming our fire at the wrong targets. Groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, etc hold a lot of power and I think it's because we haven't challenged them like we should.

These are the groups that have for over 30 years:

relied on the discredited work of Paul Cameron to smear the lgbt community,

truncated legitimate science to make us sound like the "diseased other" in American society,

took unfair possession of  the word "family" in an attempt to exclude us, and

exploited religious beliefs and fears to get away with all of this.

So while we raise holy hell with our allies for not doing what they are supposed to do, the question remains are we guilty of the same dereliction of action?

Don't get me wrong. No group has ever gained equality without exerting pressure on its allies, i.e. those who hold the keys to this equality. But at the same time, one has to ask why is the lgbt community leaving organizations like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for American, Focus on the Family, etc. free and untouched to continue their mischief ?

This isn't a matter of changing minds. It's a matter of drawing attention to what these organizations have been doing under the guise of "family values."

You see, when people turn on their televisions and see these religious right spokespeople being quoted on news programs, they aren't aware of the levels of inaccuracy they have stooped in order to form their anti-gay talking points.

And they will never know unless the lgbt community call out these organizations with as much vigor as we voice our displeasure with Congress and President Obama.

In the long run, no matter how slow and sloppy they move, the Democrats aren't our enemy and neither is President Obama. It's those organizations who exploit religious beliefs through lies, distortions, and junk science. And as far as I know, we have YET to come up with a plan to put them on the defensive or to make them explain their behavior.

Until the lgbt community makes a concerted effort with combating religious right groups who filter lies against us, we will get nowhere, no way, no how.

Not even if Jesus Christ were elected President.

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