Portland's Mayor Sam Adams has decided
he'll swim with the sharks and take his chances in the political
waters that have asked for his exit after admitting he lied about a
sexual relationship with a teenage boy during the mayoral campaign.
Adams made history three weeks ago when
he became the first openly gay mayor elected to run one of the 30
largest cities in the United States.
The revelation that Adams had indeed
lied – and asked the young man at the center of the controversy,
Beau Breedlove, to lie for him – came last Monday in a conversation
with a Willamette Week reporter.
Several Portland media organizations
are reporting that Adams confirmed his desire to fight for his office
to City Commissioner Randy Leonard.
Two other commissioners shared similar
information with the Oregonian.
The mayor said after a Tuesday press
conference that he would not linger in his decision.
The decision to remain might have been
influenced by a Friday City Hall rally that produced over 1,000 Adams
backers. Openly gay syndicated columnist Dan Savage was a featured
speaker at that rally.
But the first interview with Breedlove
appeared in Sunday's Oregonian newspaper and revealed several
facts omitted by Adams in his admission.
For instance, Breedlove told the paper
that the two kissed when he was 17. Oregon is one of the twelve
states where the age of consent is 18. But Breedlove said he was not
a victim and that he knew what he was doing.
“I do not see any relationship that I
ever had with Sam as me being taken advantage of,” Breedlove said.
“I do not feel like I was ever a victim. I may have been 17, but I
was an adult, and I knew what I was doing.”
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.
Adams went into seclusion after giving
a Tuesday press conference during which he admitted he lied about his
relationship with his former legislative intern and asked for
The rumor that the two shared an
intimate relationship first surfaced during the 2007 mayoral
campaign. Adams' long-standing response has been to dismiss those
reports as a “nasty smear.”
Adams said the pair engaged in a brief
affair as soon as three weeks after Breedlove turned 18. Breedlove
has confirmed that their relationship did not turn sexual until after
his eighteenth birthday.
The state Attorney General has agreed
Adams said he lied because he didn't
think people would believe that the pair remained platonic friends
until after the teen turned 18. He believed such a revelation would
undermine his chances of winning on Election Day.
In his interview, Breedlove insisted he
admired the mayor: “I was not pulled into this situation by Sam. I
was not unfairly influenced by Sam. I think Sam is a wonderful man.”