Bishop Eddie Long, a famed pastor in Atlanta, Georgia and staunch advocate of banning same-sex marriage has been accused of raping two men in his congregation. Well, CNN said he “coerced them into having sex,” but to me, that’s rape.
In an article published at the Southern Poverty Law Center a few years ago, Brentin Mock writes about Long as one of the most homophobic black leaders in the anti-gay marriage movement,
“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!”
The audience, seated in a congested sanctuary, erupts in laughter. But what Long says next is no joke.
“God says you deserve death!”
Long’s message is: Hate the sin and the sinner. It’s a popular message. His congregation now tops 25,000.
In 2004, Long and his followers vigorously supported a proposed amendment to the Georgia state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Civil rights activists cringed as Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Bernice, handed a torch to Long, whom she has referred to as her “new father,” as they marched side by side to her biological father’s gravesite in a demonstration held “to protect the institution of marriage.”
The amendment ultimately passed.
I suppose at this point it is no longer surprising to see a bigoted homophobe also involved in coercive same-sex relations (rape), but it is still infuriating. CNN reports that Long’s spokespeople vehemently deny the accusations claiming this is a stunt to get money and media. The fall out should be interesting, but pastor doth protest too much, methinks.