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Long allegations: Oral sex with teen in Auckland

Sun 26 Sep 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Eddie Long Destiny church's leader has spoken publicly regarding allegations that his close friend, mentor and "spiritual father" is a sexual predator who coerced teenage boys into having sex, including one such liaison in Auckland two years ago. The allegations surfaced in the USA last week that Bishop Eddie Long of the black mega-church New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, who has condemned homosexuals from his pulpit and campaigned against equal rights for gays, used gifts of money, jewelry and cars to lure the teenagers from his church's teen outreach programme into having sex with him. CNN is now reporting that one plaintiff, now a 20-year-old, was allowed to accompany Long to Auckland in 2008 to celebrate his birthday. The youth says that Long engaged in oral sex with him in Auckland and that after leaving New Zealand the pair regularly engaged in touching "and other sexual acts." Another plaintiff says Long encouraged him to call the older married father of four boys "Daddy" and engaged in sexual acts which were characterised to him by Long as "a healthy component of his spiritual life." One suit lodged against Long claims that he presided over a "covenant" ceremony between himself and one of the teens. The youth's lawyer says "it was essentially a marriage ceremony, with candles, exchange of jewelry and biblical quotes." Long denies the allegations and is reportedly going to address the matter from the pulpit this Sunday (USA time). In an email to the Weekend Herald Destiny guru and vociferous anti-gay campaigner Brian Tamaki, who has made no secret of his adulation of Long and who was up-sized from pastor to bishop of Destiny in a ceremony presided over by Long, says the news has absolutely floored him. "Like many people I was shocked and surprised by the reports." Tamaki says he did not meet Robinson during the 2008 trip. But "I may have had a formal introduction to him as part of meeting Bishop Long's team" he told the newspaper. According to Wikipedia Long has ministered “homosexual cure” programs to recruit gays and lesbians for what he called “Sexual Reorientation” conferences. His church offers an “Out of the Wilderness” ministry which claims to be able to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals. In 2004, Long led a march with anti-gay Bernice King to her father Martin Luther King, Jr.'s grave against same-sex marriage and to support a national constitutional amendment to protect marriage "between one man and one woman." A 2007 article in the Southern Poverty Law Centre's magazine called Long, who preaches a prosperity gospel and receives millions dollars a year from his followers, "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based [USA] anti-gay movement." You can comment on this New Zealand gay community news story in the Forum    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 26th September 2010 - 3:51pm

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