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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    Posted by: TODD AND JOEY BENNETT-DALLMAN | Jan 20, 2009 6:04:03 AM

  2. John in CA wrote: "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'?"

    pe•do•phile |ˈpedəˌfīl| ( Brit. paedophile)
    a person who is sexually attracted to children.

    Catch that? CHILDREN. Breedlove was NOT A CHILD. Even at 17, he was not a "child" -- there is a DIFFERENCE between adolescence/young adulthood and childhood, people.

    Jeee-ZUZ! This is part of the reason that politics in your country is so fucked up -- holier-than-thou prudes. I see no crime -- Breedlove was neither a minor *nor* an employee (he was a volunteer -- and *certainly* no "child molestation". Get a grip, Mary Moralizer -- you're as obnoxiously judgemental as the very people who hate us. And, in case you haven't figured it out, they'll hate us whether someone like Sam Adams gets some 18-year-old tail or not.

    And to whoever-it-was who questioned what our reaction(s) were to Mark Foley, yes, I defended *him*, too (much as it PAINED me to defend a Republican hypocrite). Why? Because Foley was attacked because of homophobia and a double-standard, just because he was gay. And yes, I include some of his loudest detractors in the queer community in my charge of "homophobia". It's no more acceptable when we do it to each other, folks.

    Posted by: Nathanial | Jan 20, 2009 6:09:59 AM

  3. NEVER trust any politician.
    And esp if the scandal involves anybody with a name like Beau Breedlove.

    Posted by: Butch Buttfuck | Jan 20, 2009 6:59:35 AM

  4. I don't live in Portland--I've never even been there--but I do know that Sam Adams' opponent used that situation to his full advantage, and, while I can't speak for Mayor Adams, I'm guessing he felt backed into a corner.

    I do honestly believe he waited until Mr. Breedlove was 18, so he did nothing illegal, and he lied to protect his career. I'm not defending that, but I'm sure most people on here have done that to save their hide.

    Come on, guys--give the guy a break. I know that each state has consent laws, but were you any more/less sexually driven and aware of your desires than you were at 17, as opposed to 18? If the kid were 10, nail the bastard to the wall. 17 vs. 18--who the fuck cares? Personally, I like guys closer to my age, but I have to say, Beau Breedlove is a total hottie! Sorry--just had to throw that in there.

    Posted by: troschne | Jan 20, 2009 7:00:59 AM

  5. Jebus that dude is hot, I'd totally fuck him. Then again I'm not 25 years older than him either. Mightn't I remind you absurd pearl clutching, weeping vaginas above that the minimum age to JOIN THE MILITARY AND DIE for your country is 17? You don't magically transform, chrysalis-like, from an innocent child to a fully mature adult on the very hour of the eve of your 18th birthday occurring. Was it unethical what this guy did? hell yes, he was an employee for one thing, not to mention the lying about it. If he deserves to loose his job it's for THOSE reasons, not because of some "oh nooeessss won't somebody think of the CHILL-DRUN" stupidity. grow up.

    Posted by: blake | Jan 20, 2009 7:39:11 AM

  6. All I have to say is Beau honey, stop manicuring your face! Those eyebrows!!!! No!!!

    Posted by: Alex | Jan 20, 2009 7:40:13 AM

  7. Some of ya'll crack me up. You're all standing up there on your pure white soap boxes just telling all the rest of us how morally perfect you are and how we ought to be.

    Please step down. You look much more at home down here in the gutter with the rest of us.

    Believe me - as soon as you hit the door of your local pub, and some young one catches your eye - oh yeah sure - you're gonna look the other way. And you, sir, would be a fuckin liar. If no one is looking - You'll be on it. It's called: clean fingers, dirty toes.

    The only difference between these dudes and a huge majority of the rest of us is that one of them holds a public office. Like the straight politico boys ain't bangin young tail on their side of the fence.

    People fuck. They are always going to fuck. And there ain't a one of us who would have backed off - especially if the situation felt like it might turn out to be more than just a fuck.

    But most of ya'll are just focussed on the fuck. Did you consider that maybe - just maybe - it felt like something more? Or are one night stands the only thing you have to relate to?

    And this adage about "your own age". What a perfect little world you live in. There are a whole host of reasons why age doesn't matter and the ONLY thing to separate is sexual attraction to children. Any idiot who doesn't know that line definitely needs to be nailed to the wall.

    So cut the Victorian morality and go live your life rather than just wishing you would have done the dude first.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 20, 2009 7:43:29 AM

  8. I'll be scooping some lines from this feed for the 2009 version of "Harper Valley PTA"

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 20, 2009 7:51:03 AM

  9. What's going on here? A 17-year old is a boy? That's ridiculous. You're probably the same people calling for tougher sentences for teenagers who committed a crime or even treating them like an adult.

    By the way, look at the age of consent map of Wikipedia:

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 20, 2009 8:03:49 AM

  10. ANDY (or JOE, whoever posted): PLEASE CHANGE THE HEADLINE! I think the use in the headline and first sentence of "teenager" is horrible -- at 18 we are referred to as "young men" or "men". The age of consent in OR is 18, and there is no indication he was under. If a soldier of 18 dies, the News does not say "Teenager dies in battle". PLEASE DON'T POUR OIL ON THIS SAD FIRE.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jan 20, 2009 8:03:56 AM

  11. I can see nothing wrong with a 41 year old man having a consensual sexual relationship with an 18 year old man. I do see a problem with him lying about it though.

    However after reading the responses posted here I am beginning to understand why he lied. If the gay community can get so worked up and be so intolerant about this relationship I can only imagine what the straight community would say.

    Unfortunately some mole found out them and decided to use it against him. Being a gay man he would have been aware of the narrow-minded attitude many people have and decided to lie to protect himself. Not the wisest of decisions, but not something to crucify him over.

    Do all gay men who choose to apply for jobs in the public arena have to live the life of a saint, never being allowed to have a little fun with a younger man or maybe own a set of handcuffs because if someone happens to find out about his private life he has to make a choice? Tell the truth and be accused of being a child molester or sexual deviant, or lie and risk being caught out.

    Posted by: Leadinglady | Jan 20, 2009 8:06:43 AM

  12. Mark, if that "my own age" crack was directed at me, suck it. I said I thought he was hot. I would hit it--I'm not pretending I wouldn't. I just meant that when I'm attracted to a guy, I usually prefer someone for a relationship who has a similar point of reference, if it's going to be more than a hookup. Call Terminix if you need to get that bug out of your ass.

    Posted by: troschne | Jan 20, 2009 8:14:23 AM

  13. I'm with some of the above posters re taking this a little too far!

    But I want to ask a question, do American teens mature mentally slower the European teens?

    I ask this cause as a Brit/European, I DIDN'T think I was a kid a 17.

    At All.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 20, 2009 8:22:08 AM

  14. Good grief, why can't some of these men just keep it in thier pants, and, if the guy looks too young, check his id for crying out loud. They know this is just the fodder for the right wing kooks to cry out that we are pedophiles, ugh, when we are not.

    Posted by: Luke | Jan 20, 2009 9:35:22 AM

  15. Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA) was censured by the House in 1983 for having a consensual sexual affair with a Congressional page of equivalent age to Beau Breedlove. His response was that a private relationship was no one else's business. He was correct.
    (Incidentally he was continuously reelected into the 1990s)
    I have no patience for all this puritanical hyperventilating.

    Did you drink when you were underage? Have you ever smoked pot? Were you sexually active in your teens? These questions and more all have the same answer: None of your business.

    Why is no one asking why the media are so interested in the sexual history of a relatively low level, openly gay elected official?

    Were Adams a wife-beater or a pedophile (look it up. The term does not apply where 17-18 year olds are concerned) or a tax evader, or had authorized torture and warrantless wire taps, my reaction would be different, because there would be actual victimization involved.

    Posted by: Clay | Jan 20, 2009 9:37:39 AM

  16. I think it sounds very sweet. Wonder if they met like TR Knight and his boyfriend at a Matthew Shepard Scholarship event.
    I hope they charge this man having sex with a minor and put him on the sexual offenders list. How stupid is this man. Keep it in your pants.

    Posted by: brad | Jan 20, 2009 9:51:12 AM

  17. Another local gay politician brought up the Sam Adams indiscretion over a year ago, and Adams bashed that politician about spreading lies. The story isn't what Adams did with the 17, 18 year old. The story is that Adams was so hungry for power he lied and damaged the career of a more reputable gay candidate.

    Adams isn't trustworthy. He's a disgrace, and I won't defend someone who tries to destroy others' careers in defense of a lie.

    Posted by: Bruce | Jan 20, 2009 9:59:06 AM

  18. Would that Professor Crabby hadn't taken that particular moniker first, I'd have used it.

    I have a couple of points to make.
    1.) I too am a professor, and I too admire the male student body. That, however, is where it ends. I am employed in education, and I intend to stay that way. I didn't spend half my life in college to one day prove I'm still thinking with my penis.

    2.) It has been said in several articles that this guy was 18. What's the big deal? Why are we so obsessed with the personal lives of politicians? And, of course, why do they insist on keeping us interested by screwing around. If this guy was 18, I'm not the least bit interested. If he was 17, well then Adams is too stupid to hold office anyway.

    Posted by: Sean | Jan 20, 2009 10:10:38 AM

  19. Here's the link will all the 411 on this...


    It's sad for PDX and It's pretty liberal and lazy there, bet this just blows over...

    Posted by: brenterino | Jan 20, 2009 10:18:29 AM

  20. When in doubt, use the Clinton/Lewinsky scale: Was this illegal? (Not if Beau was 18 and not an employee.) Was it immoral? (Only if you're opposed to ANY age differences in relationships, as Ben noted re: Gavin Newsom and the 19-year old.) Was it tacky? GOD, yes. Adams should apologize profusely, and Breedlove should also issue a statement if he feels OK with it. Then Portlanders can censure Adams and move on.

    Posted by: Dback | Jan 20, 2009 10:24:14 AM

  21. "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."

    I have three words for you: Chris and Don.
    When they met, Isherwood was 48 and Bachardy 18. Their relationship, in spite of a 30 year age difference, lasted until Isherwood died, and they were clearly soulmates.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jan 20, 2009 10:33:03 AM

  22. Sam Adams admitted he LIED when he said, before the 11-08 election, that his relationship with the boy/man was platonic. So why are some of you so sure he's telling the truth now when he's an ADMITTED liar.

    And it doesn't matter what straight men do. Gay men are not treated like straight men. In a homophobic society, a gay man who does this sort of thing reflects on ALL gay men whereas a straight man who does this reflects on no one but himself.

    Sam Adams, who is an openly gay elected mayor of a major city not a private citizen/nobody, makes us ALL look bad whether we like it or not. I'm surprised that more commenters don't seem to get that.

    Posted by: elg | Jan 20, 2009 11:11:36 AM


    There are no reports that Breedlove was ever a city employee or a "former staffer" of Adams. KGW.com reports that Breedlove was a "volunteer" on Adams' campaign. Willamette Week reports that Breedlove was an intern for a state legislator unassociated with Adams or the city.

    Also, Sam Adams was a city commissioner during his relationship with Breedlove -- not a county commissioner.

    Willamette Week broke the story and has the most detailed account.

    (Not that I'm defending Adams. A prominent gay man trolling city hall for 17-year-olds is foolish and wreckless. Worse, repeatedly and blantantly lying about betrays the public's trust.)

    Posted by: Norm! | Jan 20, 2009 11:17:51 AM

  24. @KEVINT: I must have missed the moment where the perv went proudly arm-in-arm with the kid, publicly saying he's his soulmate.

    He lied. While campaigning. Meaning he can be lying right now, with this same apology he announces.

    Politicians are elected to represent people. Do I wish to be represented by a lier? Who PUBLICLY lied? Who MADE the kid lie, too? So he not only fucks kids, but also uses his position to COVER his doings.

    So not only a liar, not only child molester, but also a coward. Defending the dickhead is double standard. People who TRUSTED him must feel a whole new concept of "fucked up". Especially the ones among them, who are below 18... Daddy seems to be liking them more.

    And I LMAO when read someone's post above how the dude had a boyfriend at the time, who was PRESENT at the event he met the kid. YAY for treesomes with oldies, but still - do you really think you help his petty cause by pointing out the dick's not only a coward, a liar, and a child molester, but also an adulterer? With lawyer like you, one doesn't need a prosecutor....

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 20, 2009 11:25:36 AM

  25. Puritans get off your high horses. I bet you guys are the same people that say a fourteen year old should be charged as an adult in a murder case. When a guy is 18 he is considered a man/adult.

    Posted by: brit | Jan 20, 2009 11:54:06 AM

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