Oregon | Portland | Sam Adams

Portland Oregon's Gay Mayor Sam Adams Admits Sexual Relationship With Teenage Former Staffer In 2005

Sam_adams_2 Portland, Oregon's just-inducted openly gay mayor, Sam Adams, 44, has confessed to having had a sexual relationship with teenage former staffer Beau Breedlove in 2005.  Adams was a county commissioner at the time. Although Adams and Breedlove met when the teen was 17 years old, Adams maintains that he and Breedlove did not have sex until Breedlove was 18.  Adams apologized to the local press today:

Beaubreedlove_3"Until today I have not discussed the true nature of the relationship with anyone. Not my friends, family, staff or colleagues on the council. I have apologized to Beau Breedlove for asking him to lie for me. I want to apologize to my colleagues for my dishonesty and especially to the people of Portland for my dishonesty. I should have been truthful from the beginning,"

Adams had been questioned about his relationship with the then-teen before his November election, but both he and and the young man told the press at the time that their relationship had only been platonic. It not yet clear why Adams has now admitted the relationship or whether he intends to stay in office.  Adams' election in 2008 was hailed by LGBT activists, as Portland had become the largest city in the country with an openly gay mayor.

UPDATE: After the jump is a radio interview that Adams made with a Portland station today. The sound is a bit garbled at times, but Adams says that he doesn't yet know whether he'll be keeping his job. Asked if his apology is enough to satisfy the voters, Adams replies, "That's up to the people of Portland."

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  1. There is probably a sex tape.

    Posted by: Halston | Jan 19, 2009 11:46:36 PM

  2. 40 y/o's should not be having relationships with 17 y/o's period

    Posted by: zeke star | Jan 19, 2009 11:48:59 PM

  3. Yeah, it sucks being a public figure in government. You cant get drunk off your ass at a party and sing 'Proud Mary' to the delight of others. You cant flip off the tools that cut you off on the freeway. Theres a whole ton of unattractive yet harmless things you just cant do. Sure, you have your own free will but as an elected official you also have a reputation to uphold. And while its perfectly legal to say that you waited 'till he was 18 to shag, it doesnt make you anymore endearing than the hetero pigs that mark down the days for the Olsen twins or Mylie Cyrus to become legal. Im sure he is fantastic at his job but he must have been pretty fucking naive to think he was in the moral clear.

    Posted by: Toto | Jan 19, 2009 11:50:54 PM

  4. There is nothing wrong with a consensual relationship with an 18 year-old. I don't care about the age difference, either. If they were both into it, I say, go for it. But lying about it is a problem, though.

    Reminds me of John Edwards going on camera and sanctimoniously calling other people liars about his affair. Disgusting.

    Not sure this guy shouldn't lose his job. I know I wouldn't vote for John Edwards for dogcatcher.

    Integrity matters, Sam Adams. If you felt you had to lie about something about this to get elected (did he really take out a full page ad????), maybe you should have just let go of your ambitions to run for mayor.

    Posted by: Mark AB | Jan 20, 2009 12:14:22 AM

  5. Sam Adams, the queer, not the beer, is a pisser. What kind of idiot can he be? Our world is political-DUH! And for all you free-love, cast the first stone fools: OUR WORLD IS POLITICAL!

    Thanks Mayor for enabling those who hate us.

    Posted by: Frieda J-Lo | Jan 20, 2009 12:16:30 AM

  6. I have a number of thoughts about this. I do understand that this guy is a "role model" and so there is a higher expectation about his behavior. But, to me equality isn't about being "better." It's when this guy's transgressions are treated like they'd be if he was straight. He's not the only mature guy getting some from someone much younger. Straight guys do it all the time.

    However, there are two things that REALLY bother/concern me.

    (1) This kid was an employee. That creates a very unsavory power dynamic-- especially when you couple that with the age differential. (2) I think the mayor probably violated the law.

    Under Oregon law:
    (1) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree if the person subjects another person to sexual contact and:the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being under 18 years of age. (163.415)

    I don't know what happened, but I doubt that they waited until the kid was 18 to have sex.

    Even if I give him the we waited until he was 18 argument, he demonstrated EXTREMELY POOR judgment in starting a relationship with a minor employee.

    I am so glad I am not a Portland voter.

    Posted by: Brandon | Jan 20, 2009 12:19:18 AM

  7. I did not vote for Sam but was glad to have the national attention as Portland elected a gay mayor. I had my misgivings and was hoping I was wrong. I am ashamed for him and for PDX for setting back gay rights by feeding into ugly stereotypes. Minorities are flawed like all people but he chose to be a role model and pioneer and he is a big fail.. I am 44 and I don't have sex with 18 or 19 or even 22 year olds, especially someone I work with. This is just sad. It may not be illegal but it is in this day and age unethical and dangerous to your political career. Can you spell stupid. I can,,,,,

    Posted by: ganymeade | Jan 20, 2009 12:33:12 AM

  8. The three things that matter here:
    1. Relations with an employee is unprofessional and unethical.
    2. Age of consent in Oregon is 18.
    3. That young man is TOTALLY adorable.

    Posted by: dc10001 | Jan 20, 2009 12:37:00 AM

  9. I remember a time in the 70s or 80s when Barney Frank was caught with a male prostitute, and he picked himself up from his mistake and had a pretty successful and esteemed career in politics. People make mistakes and it doesn't always have to be some reflection on the entire "gay community"...whatever that term means.

    While I understand in this case that the law forbids legal adults from having a sexual relationship with someone under 18, let's remember that "18" is just a number. It could easily have been 15-21, as many countries have different ages of consent. I only bring this up for the people who made statements like...."no 44 year old should lust after a 17 year old" or those who called him a pervert. The age of consent is just a law and there should be no moral indictment of him because he loved a 17 year old. Just a legal one. While I would agree that Adams showed very poor judgment and probably doesn't deserve his job, let's not pretend as "healty" gay men that we only have sexual attraction for other men who are 18 yrs of age or older. We're not talking about children here and while the law says "don't touch", that doesn't mean that gay men are perverts if they happen to find someone attractive who is physically mature but under the age of 18.

    Posted by: Patrick | Jan 20, 2009 12:51:27 AM

  10. Sam Adams should only resign if he broke a law.

    I believe that they probably did wait until 18 to have sex. Are they in a relationship now?

    I doubt he'll get re-elected though, unless he marries the kid :)

    Posted by: Mad Professah | Jan 20, 2009 12:58:38 AM

  11. He lied. While campaigning.

    He made someone else lie. How Clintonesque.
    What a weak man. What a sad homo.

    He should be ashamed. And if the kid was actually under 18 when these shenanigans
    occurred he should step down and then be strung up.

    Posted by: spk | Jan 20, 2009 1:04:08 AM

  12. I think they make a lovely couple. Good luck to them.

    Posted by: jessejames | Jan 20, 2009 1:14:34 AM

  13. Just makes you wonder....if he lied so vehemently about the relationship in the first place, how do you know he's not lying about the time it took place now?

    I wonder if the people defending him are just doing so because they don't want the nation to lose an openly gay mayor of such a large city.

    I also wonder if they defended closeted Republican Mark Foley just as strongly, or if they demanded his resignation.

    Posted by: DaveTN | Jan 20, 2009 1:18:52 AM

  14. The district attorney can't prove that a crime has been committed. Without the kid's testimony there's no case. And he seems intent on covering for Adams. Then there's also the statute of limitations matter:

    The prosecution of sexual abuse in the third degree must commence within four years of the commission of the offense. Or. Rev. Stat. § 131.125(6)(a).

    If the victim is under the age of eighteen at the time of the offense, prosecution of the offense may commence within four years of the offense being reported to law enforcement or by the victim's 22nd birthday.

    If Mr. Breedlove was 18 in 2005, then he's approaching 22 right about now. The statute of limitations is about to run out. I doubt that's a coincidence.

    And I'm certainly wary of this story that they waited until Breedlove's 18th birthday because, well, I'm not a first grader. How many pedophiles who have a secret relationship with a teenager says "lets just keep it platonic until you're reached the age of consent"?

    While we can't rule out that scenario due to lack of evidence, methinks something is rotten in the state of Oregon.

    Posted by: John in CA | Jan 20, 2009 1:39:59 AM

  15. I tend to attract guys younger than me but I would never have sex with am underage guy. Having said that, it's not the relationship that's the problem here if they did it after the twink turned 18. It's the fact that he "did not have sexual relations with that twink", that's the problem. The lie.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Jan 20, 2009 1:50:09 AM

  16. I'm from Portland, so when Sam Adams was elected I admit I was a little bit proud.

    Hopefully, Sam Adams will be given a chance to recover and make good on his election, and I'll be a little bit more proud.

    Let's have a little tolerance here. Sleeping with people is no crime, and it's the last place where we should judge someone; isn't breaking down dinosaur moral "values" one of the great traditions in the gay rights movement? Intolerance from within our own community begets intolerance from without.

    Posted by: David | Jan 20, 2009 2:01:31 AM

  17. So now we know that even GAY politicians are not above bad choices. So does this mean that Sam Adams will be accused of having "thrown gays under the bus?" Is this a "slap in the face" to the gay community? Are gays "doomed," "screwed," etc., by the actions of this GAY politician? Will the Portland gays start rallies in protest? Will there be a zealous outrage followed with angry letters and emails? Or will everyone brush it off and get back on their high horse in time for the Inauguration?

    Posted by: Q | Jan 20, 2009 2:12:49 AM

  18. I'm just kind of miffed at the fact that this total tool opens such a door and shatters such a glass ceiling for the glbt community (like being the first gay mayor of a large US city) and then this is the kind of publicity he gets.

    When someone is in Adams' position, he has to recognize that, although it probably is unfair, the double standard is STILL there, and that he has been imbued with such a strong responsibility. He is taking the goodness of the reputation of the glbt community upon his shoulders by being elected to such a high-profile public office. And then he goes and screws some kid.


    So now we wonder why the Mormons think we're all a bunch of whores. Seriously, guys, I grew up the first 17 years of my life without sex, I think it's possible to live without it.

    Posted by: Robbie | Jan 20, 2009 2:22:45 AM

  19. All I can say is, if I was 17 and was around a powerful Sam Adams at 44... god knows I would have used every TRICK in the book to get him to want me...

    This country is soooooo fucking prude.

    Also, In the South, 17 is totally a non-issue for the political types... So give it a rest. They don't get their panties into a twist until we start talking 14 or 15.

    Posted by: bendskier | Jan 20, 2009 2:42:38 AM

  20. Remember Florida Republican Congressman, Mark Foley? Foley didn't do anything illegal either but he was still disgraced and had to give up his Congressional position.

    Sam Adams may get away with this from a legal standpoint but it remains to be seen if the VOTERS of Portland, Oregon will "forgive" him. The point is, even if Adams didn't break the law what he now admits to feeds into stereotypes about gay men being child molesters.

    If Adams didn't have sex with the boy until he was 18 whey didn't he admit it during the campaign for mayor? Because he knew it would damage him politically. And it still might.

    Posted by: elg | Jan 20, 2009 3:57:08 AM

  21. Hey Bendskier -

    Nothing wrong with a 14, 15 or 17 year old try to get together with a 44 year old. There is something PROFOUNDLY wrong with a 44 year old falling for one of the 14, 15 or 17 year olds tricks.

    This wasn't just physical. They had a relationship. I am 45. I don't care how attractive the kid is. I can see that he is attractive. But if Adams was having a relationship with the kid that means he had to talk to him. BORING - Mr. Adams is a perv. and a lier. He should loose his job.

    What a bummer for all of us gays. Thanks Adams.

    Posted by: walker | Jan 20, 2009 4:02:02 AM

  22. 1) BB was an intern when they met. Not an employee when they met, not an employee or an intern when they got it on.

    2) When they got it on, BB was over 18.

    No crime committed. I don't think he did anything wrong, but he should have known better - in his line of work.

    All the judging on this message board is weird. Substitute "man" for "44 year old" and "18 year old" and what do you get?

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 20, 2009 4:30:57 AM

  23. Gay communities FIXATION on twinks, "barely legls", and teens has gone and f**ked us up yet again.

    Note to gay men over the age of ....Oh I don't know...18...choose someone your own size/age.

    It's not very becoming seeing a 40+ year old arm in arm with a (17?) 18 year old. Clearly that's not your soulmate, clearly you are not in the relationship for the stimulating intellectual discourse and clearly you can find someone who is more complimentary.

    It's something our community needs to overcome and GET OVER.

    P.s~ Men (sadly, unlike woman) become more distinguished and handsome as they age this coming from a 24 year old.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jan 20, 2009 5:01:03 AM

  24. To those of you who say:

    "This is no big deal" (Uhh...actually it kinda IS! The man used his position to find a trick up his sleeve, all while setting all of us back and if you can't see why or how our movement is set back by this...tune into Fox News in the coming days and take off the rosey blinders please.)

    "They were two consenting adults" (Yeah...uhm...so about that. In THIS country, 17 is not a consenting adult. Lovely to hear refrences about how rules apply elsewhere, but as for me, I like to apply the rules for here. Makes things more relevant. I highly doubt most of you brushing this off as no big deal would be okay with a corrupt 40 something year old porking your 16/17 year old *CHILD* if you wouldn't take issue with that...than you've got some issues to deal with, not the least of which any of us have time to confront for you on here. So, ya might wanna tackle that with a professional)

    "Straight guys do it all the time"
    (Okay, so I'm not even going to attempt to dignify this sorry @$$ excuse of an argument with a response.)

    Bottom line? Having sex with a *kid* is NOT okay. Just because we're liberal and on the left side of things doesn't mean we have to eliminate every ounce of principle or boundary within life.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jan 20, 2009 5:21:58 AM

  25. My view, simply put - if Beau was 18, and not his employee, Adams didn't break the law, and isn't obliged to resign (though that's not off the table). If he was 17, he's guilty of a first-class misdemeanor, and should resign.

    In all fairness to Adams, Gavin Newsom dated a 19-year-old at one point in 2006, when he was 39. This aroused no comment. Adams was 40 in 2005.

    Posted by: Ben | Jan 20, 2009 5:33:18 AM

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