Gay Mayor Refuses to Resign
Posted by shadmia on January 27, 2009
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.
“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.
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.
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.