Sunday, January 25, 2009

Okay, So Here Are My Thoughts Regarding Sam Adams

Let me bring you up to speed, if you are not already. The new mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, is caught in the spotlight right now because he [finally] admitted to having a sexual relationship with a former intern. When the two were introduced in 2005, the intern, Beau Breedlove, was 17 years old. So, the controversy begins with, "well, did they have a sexual relationship while Breedlove was under the age of consent?" It's been cleared by both parties that they only kissed on two occasions when he was 17, and did not engage in sexual activity until (2 weeks) after he turned 18 years of age. The other controversy contained within this is that Adams lied, repeatedly, about the relationship between the two of them. He finally admitted to it, and issued a formal apology.

Now, people are either overwhelmingly supporting him or overwhelmingly calling for him to resign as mayor. Here is what I think he should do: he should not resign. Why do I think that?

Well, there are several elements to consider here. Let's look at the facts.
Did Sam Adams lie to the public about a personal matter? Yes.
Did he engage in sexual relations with a legal adult (according to Oregon law)? Yes.
I chose my words carefully, and as you can see, there is, in essence, no wrongdoing that is relevant to Adams' capacity to serve as Portland's mayor. He lied about a very personal issue. His personal life should not give much weight, if any, to his abilities as mayor. He had sex with (in my opinion, a very hot) 18 year old. There is no legal wrongdoing. Yes, he was somewhat playing with proverbial fire in having sex with someone so young; we're only human.

Furthermore, there is a gay element to all of this. Now I'm not a psychologist, and I'm only speaking from personal experience and insight, but young gay men tend to seek older men. Being young and gay is a very difficult thing to live through no matter where you are, and so they tend to seek out people who can relate and provide security. One of the major reasons why guys take so long to "come out" is due to the lack of a secure network of friends (presumably gay). No one is going to feel empowered to take the plunge into openness if they have no one to fall back on for support; that is to say, if receptions turn sour.

So perhaps that is the case with Breedlove. [Possibly] he found a security (among other things) in Adams and he acted on it. Clearly they were both responsible in their decisions, and everything turned out all right. That is until this whole matter came to the forefront during the mayoral campaign in Portland.

In conclusion, I believe that Adams' personal life is his own, so given that he lied about it, I can forgive him. If he led me to believe that he would lie about public policy issues, I would call on him to resign. Until such a time comes, mayor the hell out of Portland Sam.

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