Eddie “Daddy” Long was a raving homophobe who opposed same-sex marriage, supported ex-gay conversion therapy and (in 2011) paid $1.5 million in hush money to four young men who had accused him of “sexual coercion”. He died Sunday at age 63.
Long’s accusers claimed that Long declared them as his “Spiritual Sons”, sent them selfies in tight workout clothes (above) and made promises of mentorship, cars, travel and cash. He allegedly had a quasi-marriage ceremony with one of them and also allegedly kissed, massaged, masturbated and had oral sex with them in hotel rooms during their trips together.
At the time, disgraced hypocritical anti-gay pastor Ted Haggard pastor (a man later discovered smoking meth with male sex workers) defended Long, saying he was just trying to make his church “more masculine”. Yes. Masculine for masculine.
Long’s wife filed for divorce during the scandal, but called it off in 2012 and stayed with him until his death. Long’s lawyers tried to get the hush money back from several of his accusers after they broke their settlement agreement by speaking to the press.
Long led several marches against same-sex marriage; he even led one to Martin Luther King Jr’s grave. He also encouraged his congregants to vote for a Georgia state amendment banning same-sex marriage. Long is quoted as saying, “Homosexuality and lesbianism are spiritual abortions.”
We’re not just picking on a dead homophobe here. Long hosted Coretta Scott King’s funeral in 2006, “with then-President George W. Bush and three other former commanders-in-chief attending.” So his influence and anti-gay politics had long-reaching social effects.
His accusers are reportedly shopping around a book about the scandal called Foursaken.