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Prominent Georgia evangelist, Bishop Eddie Long, is on the defensive this week after three former parishioners filed a lawsuit alleging that Long "utilized his spiritual authority as Bishop [. . .] to coerce certain young male members into engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification." [Matteucci, Megan and Boone, Christian (2010-9-22). Bishop Eddie Long | Third sexual coercion lawsuit filed. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-9-22.]

The allegations, which Long "adamantly denies," resulted in Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes cancelling a fundraiser where Long was to serve as a co-host.

Before these claims of sexual misconduct came to light, though, Barnes touted Eddie Long's endorsement of his candidacy to the press [Metro Atlanta faith leaders back Roy Barnes for governor. Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved on 2010-9-22.].

"Roy is the only candidate in this race who has consistently been a friend to our community," Long said in a press release announcing his endorsement of Barnes. "He is the only one I trust to guide our state in a better direction."

Bishop Eddie Long and his wife also put their money where their mouths were, donating a total of $11,100 to the Barnes gubernatorial campaign [SOURCE: State Ethics Commission].

What's interesting about this situation is that Roy Barnes was also endorsed by a leading GLBT newspaper [Douglas-Brown, Laura (2010-7-23). Editorial: Roy Barnes for governor. The Georgia Voice. Retrieved on 2010-9-23.].

The Georgia Voice is one of the largest and most widely read GLBT publications in the Peach State. And Bishop Eddie Long hasn't had the best relationship with Georgia's GLBT community.

In 2004, Long led a march through the streets of Atlanta in support of the federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. The march was roundly criticized by GLBT advocates across the state [Barry, Ellen (2004-12-11). March Clouded by Stand on Gay Unions. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-9-23.].

Long defended the march saying, "A strong segment of society wants to go back to basic, fundamental moral beliefs."

The 2010 Georgia gubernatorial election is expected to be close, with both Democrats and Republicans doing everything they can to turn out their base.

Four years ago, Democrat Cathy Cox lost a close primary to Mark Taylor due in part to a backlash in the GLBT community after Cox flip-flopped on her opposition to Georgia's gay marriage ban [Associated Press (2006-5-29). Gay Voters May Boycott Primary, Hurt Cox Campaign. First Coast News (Jacksonville, FL). Retrieved on 2010-9-23.].

In a tight election, where every vote will count, will Barnes' association with Bishop Eddie Long --hardly a friend to the gay community-- cost him support among GLBT voters?

We'll just have to wait and see.

Originally posted to Andre in Atlanta on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 04:25 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mmmm...don't think so. (7+ / 0-)

    After the disaster of Sonny "No Water" Purdue and the slow moving train wreck of Nathan Deal, a scandal from someone who endorsed Purdue shouldn't really affect too much.

    It's not like GA politicians hadn't been going to New Birth for years seeking endorsements.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 04:29:35 AM PDT

  •  It's Georgia (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, Woody, grannyhelen, yella dawg, FG

    If you won't vote for people who pursue weird endorsements, you won't vote for anyone.

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 04:39:38 AM PDT

  •  Since Deal campaigns on hating teh gay (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, Woody, ExStr8, mr crabby

    and his opposistion to any equal rights for GLBT people and even had a television commercial about it during the primary the answer to your question is no.
    But your concern is appreciated.

    •  What happens if GLBT voters stay home? (0+ / 0-)

      It's not a question of whether they'll vote for Deal.  Obviously, GLBT voters will not.  But will they stay at home due to Barnes' relationship with Bishop Eddie Long?

      •  No. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And all this diary is trying to do is suggest they should.   It's off a piece with an earlier diary of yours suggesting AAs in Georgia should not support Democrats because abortion is genocide.  But thanks for playing.
        I can't imagine what anti-GLBT legislation a Gov. Deal could dream up and get passed.

        •  Stick to the facts. . . (0+ / 0-)
          . . .And don't resort to making stuff up.

          I remember every diary I've posted on this site, and never have I advocated that blacks should abandon the Democratic Party over the abortion issue.

          On a side note, I applaud you on your continued condescending tone while hiding behind your computer screen.

          To quote the character Sam Seaborn from the NBC political drama The West Wing, "When I write something, I sign my name."

          Andre Walker

          •  Oh yeah (0+ / 0-)

            You're the pro Tim Tebow ad guy, not the billboard guy.  Sorry but doesn't change my comments.  

            •  Allow me, then, to tear down. . . (0+ / 0-)

              . . .Your comments with more facts.

              ProjectQ Atlanta, another widely read Georgia GLBT publication, raised the same concerns I raised in this diary.

              As the salacious lawsuits made national headlines, former Gov. Roy Barnes canceled a planned fundraiser with Long, according to the AJC. Long, labeled one of the most anti-gay megachurch preachers in the country, held a fundraiser for Barnes during the Democratic primary and has donated $5,000 to his campaign.

              Last year, Long donated $2,400 to the mayoral campaign of Lisa Borders, a gay-friendly candidate who enjoys broad support among LGBT politicos. His donation to Barnes presents the same quandary it did for Borders – Long carries great influence among black voters and his support can boost a campaign though it carries with it the risk of alienating some gay voters.

              Hennie, Matt (2010-9-23).  Eddie Long calls charges false; photos emerge.  ProjectQ Atlanta.  Retrieved on 2010-9-23.  

               So back to the underlying question of this diary:

              In a tight election, where every vote will count, will Barnes' association with Bishop Eddie Long --hardly a friend to the gay community-- cost him support among GLBT voters?

              There's a risk that it might, and it would be foolish to think otherwise.

              •  How does that tear down my comment? (0+ / 0-)

                Do you even know any gay people in Atlanta?  That had nothing to do with Bishop Eddie Long.  I'm sure some GLBT voted for Borders, but more voted for Mary Norwood, who is straight but very friendly with the Atlanta GLBT community.

                •  I know several. . . (0+ / 0-)

                  . . .members of Atlanta's GLBT community.

                  In fact, I was legislative aide for state Representative Karla Drenner (D - Avondale Estates) during the debate over gay marriage in 2004.

                  I saw firsthand how members of the GLBT community were absolutely dejected when S.R. 595 passed the Georgia House by three votes.

                  So, if I may adopt your condescending tone, nice try and thanks for your lame attempt at questioning my credentials in Georgia's GLBT community.

                  •  Blaming Bishop Eddie Long for Borders' defeat is (0+ / 0-)

                    ridiculous.  You know she is openly gay, right?  And anyone who would use this as an excuse not to vote after 8 years of Sonny is not a progressive, or a democrat, or concerned about GLBT equal rights in GA.  We're not FL but we could be.
                    This wouldn't have anything to do with the new Ras poll out today would it?

  •  Association is fairly tenuous here. Barnes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, Woody, ExStr8, yella dawg

    accepted the endorsements of many people and I don't see why this scandal will make a difference for him. The example you're citing is quite a bit different since it involves the change of views of the candidate herself.

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