So... I'm sitting on a train heading to PDX because I wanna 1. write about a rally being held in support of Sam Adams, Portland's embattled mayor, and 2. attend that rally in support of Sam Adams, Portland's embattled mayor, and 3. spend the rest of the weekend hanging out with the boyfriend at the Ace Hotel. (The kid has a weekend-long sleepover.) I am con 40+ men having sex with 18-year-olds—gay or straight—but I'm also con people being hounded out of office for private, legal, adult consensual sexual conduct. (And it's the sex, not the lies about the sex, that are prompting the calls for Adams to resign.) There was a a press conference today at noon at Portland's city hall featuring "community leaders" speaking out in support of Adams that I missed. But check out this quote from "civil rights attorney" Charles Hinkle in the Oregonian's write-up of the presser (which was also noted in Matt's post earlier):
Hinkle called Adams, "a good and decent man" dedicated to public service. "He has the potential to be a great mayor and I say to you, Sam, don't resign."
Hinkle and others said the media focuses too much on the personal lives of leaders and downplayed the impact of Adams' actions.
"There are crimes and there are crimes," Hinkle said. "If this was a crime, if he committed a crime by having a sexual relationship with a young man who was a couple of months shy of his 18th birthday, that is not a crime that looms large in the history of mankind."
What? WHAT?!? Adams met Beau Breedlove when Breedlove was 17, but Adams insists that nothing happened until after Breedlove turned 18. The age of consent in Oregon is 18; if something happened before Breedlove turned 18, then Adams broke the law and it's over. If Adams and Breedlove waited, no laws were broken, and Adams should refuse to resign. (Fun fact: the age of consent in Washington is 16. So if Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels banged Beau's 16-year-old sister, Bovina Breedlove, Greg could continue to be Seattle's mayor-for-life.) Now Hinkle seems to be addressing a possible worst-case-scenario here—what if the mayor of Portland were guilty of statutory rape?—and saying even then it's not so bad in the, you know, grand scheme of things (or in Washington state). But if Hinkle thinks he's helping Adams with that line of argument... he's a fucking moron.
(And it really is the sex, not the lies, that people have an issue with here—please read this brilliant blog post by Alex Blaze at the Bilerico Project.)
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!