My Thoughts On Mayor Sam Adams
January 19, 2009 by Bryan
When this story first broke today about the nation’s first openly gay mayor of a large metro area having a sexual relationship with a former intern, it got my blood boiling for many reasons. And I have to be honest, my blood is still boiling.
[Quick update of clarification] I do not, nor have I ever called for Sam to resign. In fact, quite the opposite. While I may have been disappointed, and still am to a point. We’ve cried our river, now it’s time to build and bridge and get over it.
To preface my thoughts, I want to say that this situation in no way changes my support for Sam’s vision for Portland. I do believe in that and I do believe in him leading our great city in the right direction.
At the time the story first broke, before Adams announced his intentions to run for mayor, I worked for an organization who held the responsibility of defending the rights and dignity of the gay community at the statewide level. I had to talk to the press about this story and my reaction this evening was one of wanting to throw up thinking I had unknowingly lied to the press by defending a man that was in fact guilty. After putting it all together Adams is not guilty of what he had been accused of by a potential mayoral running mate. But he is guilty of other acts.
So here it is. While Mayor Adams did not lie about having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old intern, he did admit to having them with the man when he was 18. The problem is that Mayor Adams was less than forthcoming in calling the entire situation a “smear campaign”.
I stuck with Sam, gave money to Sam’s campaign and was so proud when he was elected the first openly gay mayor of a large metropolitan city. Now I’m just left with disappointment.
My hopes, dreams and aspirations for Sam Adams were big. He was someone to look up to and was always very personable and an easy guy to like. That’s all changed now. He now has the task of earning back my trust, but it is not an impossible task.
While it is in no way, shape or form is it our business to know our Mayor’s sex life — so long as it’s not illegal in any way — he lied. Not only did he lie, but he has admitted (and apologized for what it’s worth) to asking the man (who was 18 at the time of the incident) to lie as well.
He lied to help get into office. He took advantage of his power. Now he’s just ‘another politician’ to me and I feel that coming to his defense in the future is something that we will be unable to do in the future — and who knows if Portlanders will be able to help him in his future bid for reelection. Only time will tell and I hope that Sam can restore our trust.
Sam has left a scar on the gay community, acting as a role model for thousands cross the country. Sorry Sam, it’s the truth. And as someone else put it, “I don’t care who he fucks, but he should have known better, and to me, it’s just another white man in power using his privilege to get away with some questionable things. And by doing so, he puts everyone around him in this circle in jeopardy”.
To read what Mayor Adams said way back when go here.
To see what he’s saying today, read below:
I want to publicly acknowledge a mistake I have made and I want to apologize for it.
In the past, I have characterized my relationship with Beau Breedlove as purely non-sexual. That is not true. Beau Breedlove and I had a sexual relationship for a few months in the summer of 2005 after he turned 18 years of age.
I should have been honest at the time about the true nature of my relationship with Beau Breedlove when questions about my relationship with him first surfaced publicly in October 2007. In fact, Beau encouraged me to be honest about the facts of our relationship. I am deeply sorry that I asked him to lie for me.
I lied at the time because I was afraid that people would believe untrue rumors, being circulated by an undeclared mayoral opponent, that I had broken a law involving sexual relations with a minor. But this is not a good excuse.
Until today, with the exception of Beau, I have not discussed with anyone the true nature of my relationship with him: not with my colleagues, staff, friends or family.
I apologize to Beau for asking him to lie for me. I apologize to my colleagues for my poor handling of this matter. I apologize to the people of Portland for my dishonesty. I should have been truthful from the beginning.
Mayor Sam Adams