Portland's gay mayor, Sam Adams, was in
seclusion Wednesday after holding a Tuesday press conference during which he
admitted that he covered up a sexual affair with a teenage boy during
his mayoral campaign. But cries for him to step down have increased
in his absence.
In the latest development, the city
council is asking the state Attorney General to investigate if Adams
abused his office.
Several prominent Portland newspapers –
the Oregonian, the Portland Tribune and the Portland
Business Journal – along with the Portland Police Association
have asked Adams to resign.
While several outlets in the gay media
expressed support for Adams – Queerty.com and Atlanta-based
Sovo.com included – Portland's own Just Out joined in the
chorus of voices asking for resignation.
“People are devastated,” Marty
Davis, editor of Just Out, told the Oregonian. “It's
not a question of innocent until proven guilty. He's already
admitted he lied. He lied to our community, he lied to me, he lied to my
Davis said Adams has “lost all
At Tuesday's press conference, Adams
apologized directly to members of the gay and lesbian community: “As
one of the leaders of the gay community, I want to apologize to the
gay community for embarrassing them. I should have been truthful
from the very beginning.”
Adams, 45, quickly returned from
Washington, where he was participating in President Obama's
inauguration festivities, to hold Tuesday's press conference. He
humbled himself and asked for forgiveness at the admission that his
long-standing denial of having a sexual relationship with 18-year-old
Beau Breedlove was not true.
“I want to apologize to the people of
Portland for my dishonesty,” Adams said. “I made a mistake.”
The rumor that he and Breedlove had an
intimate relationship first surfaced during the 2007 mayoral
campaign. Adams' long-standing response has been to dismiss those
reports as a “nasty smear.”
In a Thursday interview with a reporter
from the Willamette Week, the mayor was confronted with
evidence the newspaper had gathered over several months concerning
the affair, including statements from several of Breedlove's friends
who said the young man had confided in them that the two shared an
intimate relationship. Adams remained steadfast in his denial.
But Monday, during a telephone
conversation with the newspaper, he acknowledged the affair saying:
“I want to publicly acknowledge I made a mistake and apologize for
it. In the past, I've characterized my relationship with Beau
Breedlove as purely non-sexual and that is not true.”
During the press conference, Adams
admitted to sleeping with Breedlove as soon as three weeks after he
turned 18 and the two dated for “maybe two months.”
Adams made contradictory statements,
saying he would not resign over the affair, then 20 minutes later
saying he would if it “was in the city's best interest.” And
Wednesday, his response grew even grimmer: “I need to take some
time to figure out what's best for Portlanders,” he told the
Oregonian, “but I'm not going to drag it out. There's too
much work to do.”
The mayor met Breedlove in 2005 when
the former legislative intern was 17.
Adams became the first openly gay mayor
to run one of the 30 largest cities in the United States when he took
office on January 1.