It has become almost a mantra in contemporary news articles: a minister who preached against homosexuality accused of hidden homosexual relationships. In the case of Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long (shown here in a past sermon), he is by last count accused in three lawsuits by young men who claim that they came to him for spiritual help and were used for his sexual pleasures.
With the filing of the third complaint yesterday, Long has canceled a planned interview on the controversy. The third lawsuit was filed by Jamal Parris, now 23, who said that he was just a teenager when he met Long who encouraged Parris to call him “Daddy.” What followed, according to the complaint, was the use of the teenager for sexual encounters after Parris was hired as an employee with the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
These lawsuits name Long but also contend that Long’s LongFellows Youth Academy and New Birth are responsible for not taking action. It is a classic negligence claim. It would be hard to argue respondeat superior under such circumstances. With three separate men coming forward, it will be a considerable challenge for the defense, which has insisted that these lawsuits are little more than a shakedown for money.