Pick up our new print edition for everything you need to know about October’s packed schedule of LGBT events: Out on Film, Atlanta Pride, Queer Literary Fest, and more
After months of speculation of when a second LGBT liaison would be named, the Atlanta Police Department’s Chief George Turner and Mayor Kasim Reed today announced that Zone 2 Precinct Patrol Officer Brian Sharp would fill the second spot. The announcement comes just a week before the 40th annual Atlanta Pride that is expected to attract tens of thousands of people to the city and Piedmont Park.
Atlanta City Council members H. Lamar Willis and Alex Wan are hosting a Gay Pride Reception on Oct. 6 to help ring in Atlanta Pride’s 40th anniversary.
The mood at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church this morning was one of cheer and elation as thousands of parishioners gathered to show their devoted support to their bishop, Eddie Long.
Long, currently embroiled in scandal after four young men filed lawsuits against him last week alleging he used his power as their spiritual leader to coerce them into sexual relationships, told the some 8,000 gathered for the 8 a.m. service that he was like David fighting Goliath.
"I feel like David against Goliath, but I got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet,” he said after a brief sermon and then walked off the dais. Congregants cheered and stood and applauded Long.
A defiant Bishop Eddie Long took to the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church this morning to vow to fight the sexual coercion allegations leveled at him by four young men who attended his church.
Referencing notes from his iPad, Long first rallied his congregation about the "painful and difficult situations" that they all face, listing everything from Hurricane Katrina to car accidents and "loving someone who doesn't love you back."
He did not address the allegations against him until the end of his brief remarks.
"There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man, but I am not the man that is being portrayed on the television," Long said to cheers from the congregation. "That is not me."
Long said that he has been advised by his lawyers "not to try this case in the media," but closed with a defiant vow to fight back against his accusers.
Civil rights leader Julian Bond said today that if the sexual coercion allegations made by four young men against Bishop Eddie Long are true, it will be a "sad victory for gay rights."
A fourth man is suing Eddie Long, the anti-gay leader of megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, first reported by the Associated Press.
The lawsuit was filed by Spencer Legrande, a former member of New Birth’s satellite church 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 AP reports.
Editor's note: This article by Atlanta journalist and GA Voice contributor Ryan Lee was published in the Dec. 17, 2004, issue of the Washington Blade and is reprinted with permission. It is an insightful look back at the past public stands of the pastor who is now accused of sexual coercion of three young men at his church.
The Atlanta Police Department’s new GLBT Advisory Board now has a place on the APD’s website. There’s not much on it right now — the nine-member board met for the first time on Monday — but there is a list of email address of all members in case you want to contact them about any concerns.
Glen Paul Freedman is the chair of the board, Terence McPhaul is vice-chair and Ebonee Bradford-Barnes is secretary.
“This site will include our meeting agendas, meeting minutes, advisory group member contact information, by-laws, events and additional information. This is a good step forward towards working together and a first for APD,” said Freedman in an email statement.
Nearly one in five gay and bisexual men in a study of 21 U.S. cities has HIV with almost half of them not knowing their status, according to a new study published today by the Centers for Disease Control & Protection. And those hardest hit, according to the study, are men of color and men under the age of 30.