The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Bishop Eddie Long Settles Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Misconduct

By Ryan Lenz on May 27, 2011 - 11:52 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT

Bishop Eddie Long, a virulently anti-gay Georgia pastor who heads one of the nation’s largest megachurches, has reached a settlement with four men who accused him of abusing his role as pastor to compel them into sexual relationships when they were teenagers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that the case likely will be dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning Long cannot face another lawsuit stemming from the same allegations. While the terms of the settlement were not released, both parties have been in mediation for months. Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church said the decision to settle was made “to bring closure to this matter and allow us to move forward with the plans God has for this ministry.” B.J. Bernstein, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, declined to comment.

Long came to the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2007 as one of the most virulently homophobic African-American leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement who, along with other prominent clerics, embodied black religious resistance to LGBT rights. In a videotaped sermon once for sale in the church bookstore, Long denounced homosexuality and attributed perceived problems with Western culture to blurred gender lines. “The problem today, and the reason society is like it is, is because men are being feminized and women are being masculine! You cannot say, ‘I was born this way.’ … I don’t care what scientists say!”

The allegations of sexual misconduct were first announced last September. The men – Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson – accused Long of using his role as pastor to coerce them into sexual acts in exchange for cars, clothing, jewelry, electronics, college tuition and extravagant overnight trips to New York, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, New Zealand and other places.

  • rubie p

    Bishop long is hypocritical. I would not admit to something I did not do to satisfiy anyone. Settingling is admitting. Bishop Long should search his soul and his spirit. To many people are playing with God. Building Mega Ministries for their own gratification and not doing much to further black education and address the proverty that is destroying our people. I would rather support Dr. Cornell West, Tavis Smiley, Micheal E. Dyson, and do things in our community to support our youth as these men are. Bishop Long swept his dirt under the rug, never to be talked about. I donot think God had anything to do with that.

  • greg

    Satan you lost Bishop long is forgiven and your tricks are old and returning to you void now go have aseat in hell you heard,BY grace Bishop long is more than a conqueror oh glory 2 God JESUS reigns in this brother and his feet is on solid ground It is finished.

  • Sam Molloy

    Bishop Long could be a great Christian leader if he would use his personal experience to reevaluate the 6 supposedly negative references to homosexuality in the Bible, all of which can be explained by books like “What the Bible really says about Homosexuality” and “Take back the Word”, or by any well educated theologian without a personal vendetta.