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Portland Group to Rally in Support of Mayor Sam Adams

A Facebook Group with nearly 2,000 members has sprung up in support of Portland Mayor Sam Adams, whose recent confession that he had a consensual sexual relationship with another adult male but lied about it during his campaign appears to have divided the city and has prompted calls for his resignation and a criminal investigation.

Adams_breedloveThere is a rally in support of Adams tonight at Portland City Hall at 5:30, organized by "Sam Adams supporters who feel that his two decades of committed service to the city of Portland by far outweigh his honesty about the details of his (legal and consensual) sex life. Our trust is not broken because he made a mistake when cornered with an inappropriate question."

Adams said yesterday that the public will know 'within days' if he will resign:

"Adams did not appear in public Thursday but told The Oregonian he spent much of the day with his pastor and with his mentor, former Portland Mayor Vera Katz. 'It's important that I learn the lessons that need to be learned regardless of what I decide,' said Adams, who apologized at length to Portlanders Tuesday."

Byron Beck, who has written for Portland's alternative weekly Williamette Week and considers Adams a friend, said on his blog, "It’s unfortunate that gays, women and African Americans have to be held to a different standard than straight, white middle class males." Beck snapped the photo of Adams with Beau Breedlove in 2008.

Breedlove_2Breedlove, the former legislative intern who had the relationship with Adams, released a statement earlier this week (as his MySpace page was being mined for photos like the one at left):

"The past day of news coverage regarding my brief 2005 relationship with Mayor Sam Adams has been stressful, to say the least. I would like to publicly apologize to those who were negatively affected by my mishandling of the situation during the 2007 mayoral campaign. Reflecting back, I regret misleading anyone about the nature of the relationship. When the subject first surfaced during the campaign, I was living out-of-state and I did not anticipate the impact it might have on Portland's mayoral campaign. While my first instinct was to tell the truth, I also wanted to protect Sam Adams' reputation, considering our valuable friendship. Sam Adams has always been a positive influence and friend to me. He has many outstanding qualities to bring to his position as Mayor of the City of Portland and I wish nothing but the best for him. I hope this subject can ultimately be put to rest and I sincerely believe in Sam Adams and what he can do for the city of Portland as Mayor. Again, I truly apologize to those were affected by my mishandling of the situation in 2007. Sincerely, Beau Breedlove."

Portland Police Ask Oregon AG to Investigate Mayor Sam Adams [tr]
Portland Oregon's Gay Mayor Sam Adams Admits Sexual Relationship With Teenage Former Staffer In 2005 [tr]
Portland TV On Adams Controversy [tr]
Portland Swears in Gay Mayor Sam Adams [tr]
Portland Elects Openly Gay Mayor Sam Adams [tr]
Gay Man Accused of Smearing Another in Portland Mayoral Race [tr]

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  1. I'm amazed people are commenting about signs in the photos or the context of the relationship, what about those briefs?

    Posted by: cd | Jan 23, 2009 2:18:46 PM

  2. CJ, no one is hurling anything at you that you can't take. Your stance is just antiquated . . . not the sex part, the part where anything we do is worse because we're gay and becomes a nail in some imaginary coffin. This is a lesson. Be honest. Come out. Don't dodge. No one is saying that he was honest. . . just that the FOCUS ought to be on the truth not the youth. And yes, the rights of minors, the age of consent, and society's hang-ups need to be under CONSTANT review constant challenge. That's how we progress.

    Posted by: ChadinNYC | Jan 23, 2009 2:19:10 PM


    Join the SUPPORT SAM ADAMS rally TODAY at the Portland City Hall at 5:30pm

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 23, 2009 2:19:55 PM

  4. CJ, you know that there are good reasons to cover something up although it is legal.

    Further, it is not even less serious, it isn't even about a crime. He waited to do something legal. That's not less serious, it's nothing.

    Laws shouldn't be made in that made that it's comfortable to you. It should be reasonable and avoid personal feelings.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 23, 2009 2:25:26 PM

  5. I'm in disbelief over most of the comments. Are you people kidding me with this crap? Supporting this lying douche is unreal. There seems to be a lot of misguided support after our recent defeats. Just cause he's gay doesn't mean he deserves our support. Did Sam the Mayor keep us in his thoughts when he chose to lie during his election? Thanks to him Dobson is loving life. Arguing over a few months in age does not excuse Sams acts. Seems like someone else is right, NAMBLA must be targeting Towleroad. Have fun with those teenagers gents.

    Posted by: Unreal | Jan 23, 2009 2:25:42 PM

  6. Again, I'm perplexed by the vitriol towards Adams here on T-Road, when on another site I frequent that's FULL of straight men, 90+% are in support of Adams. Bizarre.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 23, 2009 2:26:23 PM

  7. And who the hell are these idiots incessantly bringing up NAMBLA? 17/18 is NOT a boy.

    Posted by: James | Jan 23, 2009 2:30:06 PM

  8. Thanks to whoever pointed out that Breedlove did not work for Adams. To me, that closes the book on this controversy and shows that this whole thing is 100 percent motivated by homophobia. What is it that people are complaining about? He had a consensual relationship with an adult who was not even a coworker of his? There is no crime or even an ethical issue there. Or is it that he lied to a question that no ethical journalist would have asked, and that would never have been asked of an unmarried straight man in a similar position?

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 23, 2009 2:35:24 PM

  9. I see no reason Adams should resign. Breedlove was an adult, not a subordinate, we have no idea who pursued who and it that doesn't matter. This is homophobia and I sincerely hope Adams stands up to it or any gay person in office is going to be expected to be celibate. If you've read Breedlove's statment it seems he was perfectly capable of entering into the relationship of his own free adult concensual accord.

    Posted by: Jersey | Jan 23, 2009 2:49:20 PM

  10. Oh come off it, people.

    Wow, Adams was sexually attracted to a 17 yearold! Wow, what a horrible crime! I'm sure no one here has ever been sexually attracted to someone 17 or below!

    It's not like Breedlove actually looked like he was underage. He looked quite legal (judging from the pics I've seen). He looked like most American males do between the ages of, oh, 16-22.

    There is nothing wrong with being sexually attracted to someone who looks like that. If he looked like ME when I was 17 however, THEN we'd be talking because I'm currently 23 and still look jailbaity.

    My point is that people throw the word "17 yearold" around way too lightly. So what? He was on his way to becoming 18! He didn't even look underage! He looked quite legal! So who cares if Mayor Sam Adams was sexually attracted to someone who happened to be 17 but who looked like he could be 20?!

    Yes, the lying was bad. But the being attracted to a 17 yearold and going into a (brief) sexual relationship with said person once they'd turned 18? Not illegal, not morally wrong and who are we to judge?

    Love comes in all forms, sizes, ages, whatever. Now if he had preyed on Breedlove because he was almost 18 and looked like he could still be 14 or 15, THAT would be a problem.

    But that was not the case! This was consensual sex between two consent adults who both looked like they were quite legal to smex up!

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Jan 23, 2009 3:02:54 PM

  11. The fact that people are defending this at all is an embarrassment to our so-called gay community. That an adult singled out and seduced a minor (who worked for him, no less), then allegedly made a big show of not sleeping with him until he turned eighteen is simply Mayor Adams way of following the letter of the law while making a mockery of its spirit.

    And what's more, if this were truly a relationship between consenting adults, why would Mayor Adams feel the need to hide it? He knew what he was doing was wrong, and so he lied about it.

    Whether or not he should resign is a legal and personal matter, but even so, Mr. Adams ought to be ashamed, and we ought to be outraged.

    Posted by: Cameron Johnson | Jan 23, 2009 3:07:29 PM

  12. Homophobia? The only homophobia at play seems to be coming from Adams, who made the same accusation of those who accused him while he was lying about this.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 23, 2009 3:11:21 PM

  13. I really hate to point out the obvious, but to a lot of 17/18/19 year olds, Sam Adams is a really hot older man. Talk about "Daddy complexes" all you like but a lot of guys like Beau would make a bee-line for Sam Adams and have been very aggressive in their pursuit of him and/or encouraged any interest Adams may have displayed. As Beau was of legal age of consent and not employed by Adams or even in the same office, this seems like a completely manufactured tempest that is being spun against Adams to portray him, and others in his position, as predatory rather than the purely consensual relationship it in all likelihood was.

    Posted by: NYrkr | Jan 23, 2009 3:18:51 PM

  14. I will be at City Hall at 5:30 with reinforcements!

    Adams has done nothing wrong. It is his right to lie in order to keep his private life private.

    This is nothing but an attempt by Adams's enemies, such as the Portland Business Association, to sink our progressive Mayor.

    btw there is another pro-Adams rally on Tuesday which will be attended by Gus Van Sant and other prominent Portlanders.

    Posted by: Miles | Jan 23, 2009 3:28:50 PM

  15. Cameron Johnson, please read the previous posts before launching arguments that have already been covered. It will make you look more smarter.

    Posted by: honestly | Jan 23, 2009 3:30:23 PM

  16. Gus Van Sant's supporting Adams? That should be discouraged given van Sant's... enduring interest in male teen sexuality.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 23, 2009 3:44:50 PM

  17. OK, here's the REAL issue. THE DUDE LIED. In an open full page letter to the citizens of PDX in the newspaper Sam Adams lied. He also personally attacked the Willy Week reporter who was exposing this little pecadillo and whom is also gay. The folks in my very liberal non-homophobic office are all pissed at Adams for lieing. I work in PDX and commute in from WA so I didnt get a chance to vote for him. Truth be told he's a pretty sleasy back stabbling politician just like the rest of them.

    Posted by: hoppybeer | Jan 23, 2009 3:53:35 PM

  18. I don't live in Portland so I don't have a true dog in the hunt, but I think people should be critical of the mayor's conduct. Since when did lying about ANYTHING suddenly become ok? We've got posters suggesting that it was ok to lie because the media should not have asked questions about his sex life. Does that mean that now we only expect integrity of our public servants when it is CONVENIENT? Is this really what we've come to as a society? Rationalizing dishonesty. Hmm. Exactly where does one draw the line . . . .

    Asking a public official if he had a sexual relationship with someone that was underage is a legitimate question because that relationship may have violated the law. And if Adams thought the question was out of bounds, how about simply saying: "my private life is none of your business." Or, "I am offended at your suggestion that I would sleep with someone underage." Lying was not his only option.

    While I'm concerned that someone vastly older could unduly influence a teenager to engage in a sexual relationship, I have no clue whether the relationship was consensual. However, if it was, why LIE about its existence in the first place?

    I think the guy has questionable judgment especially AFTER the national spectacle of the Lewinsky scandal. Imagine what would have happened if Bill had simply said, it's none of your business. No perjury trap. And telling folks you are a mentor for someone as a cover for your relationship, that's terrible. I am in a professional organization where folks mentor grad students. I wouldn't sleep with a mentee out of respect for that relationship--despite the fact that I'm mentoring people that are at least 22.

    Should Adams resign? That's for his constituents to decide. But, I don't want us tying ourselves up in knots to defend someone just because he's gay.

    Posted by: Brandon | Jan 23, 2009 4:27:43 PM

  19. CJ: I can't believe we agree on something! Although like others have said, I love that there is a gay mayor of a major city, however, he needs to be held to the SAME standard as anyone else. An adult straight politician who "waited" till a girl was 18 would be considered a pervert, even a predator. I do not believe that Mr. Adams is either pervert or predator, however it shows bad judgment.

    I'm sure we all have seen some very attractive, "older looking" 16 or 17 year olds in our time as out adults. But those of us with good judgment decide that we cannot persue the issue and then let it drop. Someone in politics in this day and age ought to know that every single action will be under a microscope - ESPECIALLY when he is gay and the misconduct involves sex. If he wrote a bad check, big deal.

    I truly do not think this is a Gay issue (like Prop 8 or other civil rights). I really see this as an ethical issue. He is not being attacked because he is gay. He is being attacked because of his poor judgment. I'm not sure if he should resign, and frankly it won't affect my life if he does or doesn't. But I don't like seeing people in the gay community supporting ANYONE just because they are gay. Even if they do something wrong.

    Posted by: BC | Jan 23, 2009 4:27:52 PM

  20. BC: we must have been channeling each other.

    Posted by: Brandon | Jan 23, 2009 4:33:49 PM

  21. Asking him if he had sex with an underaged person is basically the equivalent of asking if he'd broken the law. That's a legitimate question. But, if we assume only what we've evidence to assume, he told the truth when he said no.

    Now, imagine someone coming up to you on the street and asking if you slept with someone. Perfect stranger asking you. You could say it's none of your business, but if you could say that, why couldn't you lie? If they don't have the right or ethical claim to know in the first place, then misleading them (keeping them ignorant) is permissable if no laws were broken and no one was harmed. That is perfectly consistent with integrity we hold to our elected officials and ourselves.

    Once again, it is the way that Adams lied (demonizing those who accused him by calling them homophobic, thus trivializing homophobia) that he is at fault for, not that he lied. Nuance, people...it's the stuff of ethical reasoning.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 23, 2009 4:39:51 PM

  22. And if we're going to talk about power imbalances in relationships...we're going to have a very gray time of it. Intelligence creates a power imbalance in relationships of people of the same age. Experience--where the younger party is more experienced than the older....that's a particularly worthless point.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 23, 2009 4:47:25 PM

  23. What kills me is that that who you have sex with is really a personal matter. I don't see that it should ever a matter of debate. There is nothing that says you have to answer this question. I do not know how many men I have seen get into a problem with this question, where they tell the truth or not. Although I think too often the first response is the little boy who doesn't want to get into trouble so he lies.

    Posted by: Robert Scoles | Jan 23, 2009 5:04:51 PM

  24. Tank: you're right. It's a very gray area when examining that power imbalance issue. Precisely why someone running for public office, knowing fully how intrusive press can be, should consider the appearance of things before taking action. I don't know if he's telling the truth or not about Beau Breedlove's age at the time. Likewise, I have no idea if Breedlove is/was emotionally mature for his age. I just know that, as you stated so well, Adam's attack while lying about his actions makes it all look bad. It's all about perception when you're in the public eye.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 23, 2009 5:49:21 PM

  25. All this does is reinforce my belief that I would never want to be a politician. Many of you Americans are nuts, constantly expecting your politicians to be virtuous angels. What a load of crap. Plus, this whole, ahem, affair stinks to high heaven of homophobia. First you argue that it was inappropriate since he was the kid's boss. Since that is not the case, now its all about some older man being a perv with a younger man. Christ, this puritanical country drives me batshit crazy.

    I suugest we start with the proposition that the question should never have been asked in the first place because it was inappropriate. If any mistake was made, or if anything illegal happened, it was that the mayor was stupid to answer the question. And stupidity is not a "firing" offence when it comes to politicians.

    Posted by: Will | Jan 23, 2009 5:55:20 PM

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