- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2011


Lawyer: Sex lawsuit involving preacher resolved

ATLANTA — A lawsuit filed by four young men who accused a Georgia megachurch pastor of sexual misconduct has been resolved, attorneys for both sides said Thursday, bringing a quiet end to a blockbuster legal complaint that targeted one of the nation’s most powerful church leaders.

The lawsuit against Bishop Eddie Long has been resolved, said plaintiffs’ attorney B.J. Bernstein. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church attorney Barbara Marschalk said she anticipates the complaint will be dismissed by Friday. Mr. Long’s spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Long is a father of four who has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, and his church has counseled gay members to become straight. But the TV preacher’s empire was threatened in September when the four men sued.

The men claimed Mr. Long abused his spiritual authority and used cars, jewelry and cash to lure them into trysts when they were 17 and 18. Local and state authorities did not investigate because Georgia’s age of consent is 16.


College seeks peaceful end to anthem dispute

GOSHEN — A small Indiana college that began playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the first time at sporting events last year, upsetting some who say the song with its images of war and the military undermines the school’s pacifist message, plans to review next month whether to continue the practice.

Goshen College’s board of directors is set to meet in early June to evaluate the practice of playing an instrumental version of the national anthem, followed by a peace prayer, before sporting events. The Elkhart Truth reported that an announcement is expected soon after a decision is made.

Some at the 1,000-student college with ties to the Mennonite Church were upset with the school’s decision last year to begin playing the anthem. School officials have said discussions about whether to change the policy began in September 2008 when the athletic department asked school President James Brenneman to reconsider the stance.


Girl, 15, accused of shooting dad with arrow

TAHUYA — A 15-year-old girl used a hunting bow to shoot her father with an arrow after he grounded her and took her cellphone, then hid in the woods until she was arrested, authorities said.

The man, who told officers about the Wednesday attack, was airlifted from the rural, forested area to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and was listed Thursday in serious condition. He was shot once in the torso, authorities said.

The man told the sheriff’s dispatcher that his daughter prevented him from calling for help after she shot him in their house. After she fled into the woods behind the home with the bow and arrows, he crawled out a window, got into his truck and drove to the closest neighbor, about a third of a mile away, Mason County Detective William Adam said Thursday.

A Special Weapons and Tactics team surrounded the girl in the woods and arrested her for investigation of first-degree assault. The girl was not injured but was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital because she was despondent, Detective Adam said.

The man has sole custody of the girl and is apparently her only relative in the area, where they have lived for at least eight years, Detective Adam said. Her mother lives out of state and has no contact with the girl.


Collective bargaining law voided by judge

MADISON — The fight over stripping collective bargaining rights from Wisconsin’s public workers will move into the state Supreme Court, and possibly back into the Legislature, after a judge ruled Thursday to strike down the law that passed despite massive protests that paralyzed the Capitol.

Republican backers of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal said they were confident that the state Supreme Court would overturn the judge’s ruling that the law is void because lawmakers broke open meetings statutes during the approval process. She had temporarily blocked the law shortly after it passed in March.

The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments in the case on June 6. Republicans, who control the Legislature, also could pass the measure a second time to avoid the open meeting violations.

Protests against the measure grew to as large as 85,000 people. Democrats and union leaders who helped organize the demonstrations praised the victory, even if it could be fleeting.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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