Just Another Guy with Opinions

Gay Mayor Refuses to Resign

Posted by shadmia on January 27, 2009

Beau BreedloveSam Adams

Mayor Sam Adams, 45, publicly apologized for lying early in his campaign about the relationship with an 18-year-old man, Beau Breedlove, in 2005. The openly gay Portland, OR. mayor is also accused of asking the teen to lie for him as well. This has prompted many to call for the mayor to resign. He has refused to do so.

The mayor met privately with the four city commissioners to discuss his political future just three weeks after being sworn in. The next day Sam Adams informed City Commissioner Randy Leonard and the other commissioners that he had decided not to resign.

In a statement posted on his website the mayor said he believed that he still had positive contributions to make, drawing on his 20 years of public service to the city. He thanked his supporters and his critics and promised: “I will work harder than I have ever worked before to make sure Portland meets our challenges.”

Although the Mayor has his supporters calls for him to resign have come from a number of organizations and individuals. The Oregonian of Portland in an editorial has called for the mayor to resign as have other smaller Portland newspapers and the police union.

Beau BreedloveSam Adams Supportsam-adams-protest-2Sam Adams

The gay-oriented publication Just Out, is also calling for his resignation. Its publisher, Marty Davis says: “I feel at this point, his character has a deep flaw” :

“By his own admission, by committing the act of lying to the citizens of Portland, Adams has failed to show the principled character that this publication feels is a basic requirement for an elected official,” the editorial said.

Mayor Sam Adams sat down with the editorial board of the Oregonian and gave a videotaped interview. Afterward the newspaper, in an editorial, said:

Nobody — not even the mayor — knows if his sense of right and wrong will fail him again, but he is asking us to give him another chance. In his Tuesday news conference Adams responded to one question this way: “If it’s no longer in the city’s best interest for me to stay on, I will resign.”

He’s already said he doesn’t plan to quit, but we submit that it is not in the city’s interest to have a mayor who cannot vouch for his own character under fire.

He should resign.

Adams was elected easily last year, 2008, making Portland the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. He was sworn in Jan. 1.

Rumors of the relationship had surfaced when the then-city commissioner was getting ready to run for mayor in 2007, but he and the teen, Beau Breedlove, both denied it at the time. Adams said he lied then because the rumors claimed the teen was underage. He said the relationship did not begin until after the teen turned 18 in June 2005. That is the legal age of consent in Oregon. He admitted he asked the teen initially to deny the relationship. “I am deeply sorry that I asked him to lie for me,” he said.

Sam Adams SupportSam Adams Protest

Beau Breedlove also gave an interview to the Oregonian to explain in his own words what really happened between himself and the Mayor. While agreeing with the Mayor that the two of them did not have sex until two weeks after his 18th birthday in June 2005, Breedlove said that the Mayor had kissed him twice “on the lips” when he was still 17 years old. He also says he welcomed Adams’ kisses and romantic interest, even though he was underage.

Beau Breedlove, now 21, told The Oregonian that Adams kissed him on the lips on two occasions before he turned 18 — once in Adams’ car and the other in the second-floor men’s room in City Hall after a party that Adams, then a city commissioner, had in his office.

“I do not see any relationship that I ever had with Sam as me being taken advantage of,” Breedlove said. “I do not feel like I was ever a victim. I may have been 17, but I was an adult, and I knew what I was doing.”

Adams said he didn’t recall kissing Breedlove. But Adams said that even if he did, his earlier denials stand.

“I said that there was no sexual contact before he was 18,” Adams said. Asked again whether he kissed Breedlove, Adams replied: “I don’t remember, but if I did, it was not sexual contact.”

Sam Adams’  attorney, Robert Weaver, said that even if Adams kissed a 17-year-old Breedlove, Adams broke no laws.

“There is nothing that (Breedlove) has said that is inconsistent with what the mayor has said,” Weaver said. “The mayor has said there was no sexual activity. Kissing is not sexual activity.”

Oregon State law says third-degree sexual abuse, which is a misdemeanor, can occur when someone subjects another person to “sexual contact” when the person either does not consent to the advance or is younger than 18. The law defines sexual contact as “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person … for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either party.”

Sam Adams is under criminal investigation by the Oregon attorney general’s office.

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5 Responses to “Gay Mayor Refuses to Resign”

  1. V said

    To me he’s a liar (why lie unless you are doing something wrong OR illegal). Also, he is borderlining on pedophilia, regardless of the the consent of the minor. He is 45, that would have made him 41 when he “kissed” a 17 year old boy…What is wrong with this picture? Hmm I think he should resign, he has shown he is a liar and can’t be trusted. I am opening bi-sexual, and wouldn’t hide being with anyone, well, because I don’t do anything shady! 😉

  2. shadmia said

    V, putting all the moral issues aside, bottom line is that the Mayor lied. This puts him in the company of many prominent (and not so prominent) politicians. I am hard pressed to think of anyone (maybe Obama who doesn’t really have a track record yet) who hasn’t. It seems to be an occupational hazard with politics!

    I think there are two issues involved……

    (1 Did he have a sexual relationship with a minor?
    If the answer is yes then he committed a crime and should be thrown out of office. If the answer is no, then we move to the second issue……

    (2 Has he lost the confidence of his constituency because of the lie?
    That one is more difficult to gauge.

    The attorney general is looking into this and depending on the results we are either stuck on issue #1……or we move to issue #2.

    Personally I don’t think that a lie in itself is sufficient grounds for being thrown out of office but I do think it is cause for concern.

    It will be interesting to see how this one plays out……..stay tuned!!


  3. V said

    Oh, I agree 100%. A lie isn’t enough to throw someone out of office, (I don’t think I worded myself quite right in my first comment), but a lie coupled with sexual oontact with a minor (if they prove that) is enough to get him booted out. I didn’t agree when they tried to impeach Bill Clinton because of his affairs. I think that is a private matter, and the ladies were over age. With this guy, the “boy” he was having sexual contact with possibly wasn’t. I guess being an abuse survivor, I get my hackles up whenever I hear of an older man enticing a younger boy.

    I know that most all politicans are liars…Myself, I’ve never understood lying, it gets you nowhere. You are right, we will see how it all plays out! 😉

  4. D said

    OK, once again we have the good old story of lies and politics and how the gray areas abound and effect others.

    In politics, everything is up for scrutiny. Once you become ‘that kind’ of public figure, it really doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do – you are up for dissection and it’s going to be ruthless and thorough. Often times the actual subject matter that is up for discussion isn’t the point in politics, it’s the ‘right and wrong’ of their actions as judged by the ‘people’. So, the issue of him, the affair, the sex, the gayness…whatever.. it doesn’t matter. What matters and what is being focussed on is how he dealt with it. And how he dealt with it was by lying. The lie is the no no. Whatever he did doesn’t matter because people really aren’t judging him on his actions, they are judging him on how he handled the repercussions of his actions. It’s like that standard line: Do you regret cheating? and the answer is: I regret getting caught.

    The issue has no place in politics. It’s an entirely different issue than anything that could effect what he does as mayor. He’s openly gay. That’s good. He’s into an 18 year old that seems to be into him as well. Ok. Whatever. That’s not government. That’s personal. So… are we judging him personally or for his good or bad deeds in office? Truthfully, the only thing we have the right to judge is on what he does for the people, not for his personal life.

    V has his opinions on these things and I don’t agree with every one of them, because I don’t think it’s always an abusive situation when an older person loves a younger person in a consensual agreement (being that the young person is of legal age, of course…) I don’t believe every coupling with a large separation in age is necessarily a testimony to the older person’s abusive nature… sometimes I believe loves really doesn’t have an age to fit into the confines of. But that is a different subject altogether.

    Thanks for letting me read and comment on your blog, Shadmia.


  5. shadmia said

    D, Thanks very much for your input. And I agree with you that we should separate the “personal” from the “public” life. I personally don’t care if the Mayor is gay, straight or bi. One’s personal life should be left out of public service with only one caveat: Was a crime committed?

    If the Mayor had a sexual relationship with a “minor” (as defined by state law) then we have a criminal case whether the liaison was consensual or not. I don’t think that we can take either the Mayor’s word or the word of his lover on this one. There needs to be an independent investigation.

    If the investigation turns up nothing of substance then the people of Portland should decide whether to forgive the Mayor for his lie – or not. Meanwhile, until there is a decision, I personally see nothing wrong with the Mayor continuing to play Mayor…..however others may disagree and that’s what makes for a good debate!

    BTW D, It’s me who should be thanking you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. It’s the thoughts and opinions of people like you who make it all worthwhile. Hope you will remain a regular reader.


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