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Inland Echo » National Interest » Portland’s openly gay mayor refuses to step down after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy

Portland’s openly gay mayor refuses to step down after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy

Portland, Ore., mayor Sam Adams at his inauguration.Sam Adams, 45, the openly gay mayor of Portland, Ore., has admitted to lying about his homosexual affair with Beau Breedlove, from the time the boy was 17, getting the boy to lie about his involvement, and smearing his accuser, Pearl District developer and reserve police officer Robert Ball. Ball is also gay. “I did it all to get elected,” Adams said, and now he refuses to leave office after winning the election under false pretenses, despite a popular outcry for his resignation. The controversy has made news all over the nation.

“It was inappropriate for me and I want to apologize to the community,” Adams said in a televised speech.

Beau’s father Marty Breedlove told KATU-TV’s Thom Jensen that his son “should have been getting leadership and direction from Adams instead of being groomed for sex.”

“Based on the falsehoods and misconduct the mayor has admitted to date, I want it known that I strongly disapprove of his actions,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said.

Police union president Sgt. Scott Westerman called on Adams to resign.

“We are deeply disappointed by the mayor’s admissions and are concerned about his ability to be effective when our city now faces many significant challenges,” the Portland Business Alliance said.

Adams faces a criminal investigation by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, following up on Adams’ admission that his affair started when Breedlove was still a minor.

“I’m shell-shocked and disappointed,” Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler told Willamette Week. He also said City Council members were correct to support a criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s office.

“I would like to publicly apologize to those who were negatively affected by my mishandling of the situation during the 2007 mayoral campaign,” Breedlove said.

Breedlove, now 21, told The Oregonian he was a legislative intern to the then-city commissioner Adams when he started his affair with the elder politician in the second-floor men’s room of Portland City Hall. He graduated from south Salem’s Charles A. Sprague High School in 2005.

Breedlove and Adams both contend that Adams, more than twice Breedlove’s age, was only kissing the boy, and that it was not a crime. However, this can construed as yet another misdirection. The law clearly states that any touching between an adult and a minor that arouses sexual feelings is a crime. The fact that the two later had sex suggests that the kissing was a prelude to romantic encounters.

“Based on things Beau said and did, I believe their relationship was sexual,”  Mark Merkle, former boyfriend of Breedlove, told Willamette Week.

Merkle met Breedlove in Hawaii. Breedlove had pleaded guilty to felony theft charges in Hawaii in 2006, after getting caught stealing $750 worth of clothing from Macy’s department store. Subsequently, he moved to Michigan with Merkle, and then back to Portland in 2007. He is currently on five years’ probation in Multnomah County for the Hawaii conviction.

“If it were a 17-year-old girl Adams would probably be arrested by now,” one Oregon Live commenter noted. Portland’s famously tolerant stance on homosexual activities, driven in part by gay politicians, gay city hall employees, and prominent gay members of the community, is considered the principal reason why Adams remains a free man today.

“It just goes to show far gay rights have come in this country,” Jay Leno said on the Tonight Show, “when a homosexual politician can lie about his past, deceive his constituents and have sex with his interns just like our heterosexual politicians.”

“This is about protecting our kids from being groomed for sex. He’s a pedophile,” a protester outside City Hall said. “It makes me sick. I voted for him,” she said.

As the situation deteriorates, those formerly close to the mayor are now distancing themselves. The mayor’s openly gay spokesman Wade Nkrumah, announced this morning he has resigned his job. Formerly a reporter for The Oregonian, Nkrumah said he told Adams last night of his decision, which takes effect immediately. Another reporter for The Oregonian, Peter Zuckerman, is Adams’ current boyfriend. There is also the appearance of a conflict of interest over the fact that The Oregonian and Breedlove share the same attorney, Charles Hinkle.

“People lie. I lie. You lie,” Hinkle said at a pro-mayor rally at City Hall attended primarily by prominent Portland gays, according to The New York Times.

Carolyn Becic, the executive director of Oregon Mentors, was going to be Adams’ new education strategies director, but has declined to assume the position following the news about Adams.

As Al Pacino famously said as the character Michael Corleone in the movie, “The Godfather, Part II”, quoting ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” Thus Adams’ hiring two weeks ago of Amy Ruiz, a reporter for the Portland Mercury who had written about the Adams-Breedlove connection back in 2007, for a sustainability and strategic planning job that by her own admission she is not qualified to do, paying $55,000 a year, a lot more than her writing income, is now seen as a suspicious move.

“This town has a million and a half urban planners, and I’m not one of them,” Ruiz told the Willamette Week.

Meanwhile, the gay community is split over the issue with some adding their voices to the call for resignation on the grounds that the mayor defames their cause, while others want him to stay in office no matter what, simply because of his homosexual orientation. Gay and lesbian groups have been Adams’ biggest campaign contributors for many years.

“I don’t care if Sam sodomizes half the kids at Lincoln High, then sells videos of the statutory rapes on Ebay. He is our mayor, and I am proud of him,” a Willamette Week commenter said.

A rally will be held in front of city hall tomorrow at 11am calling for Adams to “clean out his desk.”


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