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Breedlove: “I Kissed A Pol And I Liked It”

Jim Burroway

January 26th, 2009

In an interview published over the weekend, Beau Breedlove told The Oregonian that he and Portland Mayor Sam Adams kissed twiced while Breedlove was still seventeen. But Breedlove, who recently ended a two-year relationship with another 38-year-old man, insists that he wasn’t a victim:

“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.”

Meanwhile, Portland Mayor Sam Adams has decided not to resign. Hopefully in the past week, he’s done some thinking about how he deals with accepting responsibility as an adult, as a leader, as a gay man — and as a man, period.

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Mike
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

How can anybody believe a word this guy says now? Dan Savage is correct, he needs to shut up or come clean with his motives.

John
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

I thought this wasn’t a big deal, Jim? Isn’t this just a private fling Adams had which is nobody else’s business and of course, my favorite, his personal life has no bearing on his public office? No, Adams has disgraced himself and broken faith with the people so should resign immediately.

Those who are dismissing Breedlove’s age during the affair in this, especially since the young man says he was a willing participant, completely ignore the fact that to a large number of parents this relationship horrifies them and Adams is worthy of their contempt. You want to know why so many heterosexuals disagree with same-sex marriage? Here’s a shining example: try and excuse or gloss over what this gay man does that most would find reprehensible from a straight man and there’s part of your answer. It matters not whether such an attitude is right or wrong. Obviously that is too simplistic to answer all of the reasons but expect the Religious Right to seize upon this and gain a lot of sympathy.

Suricou Raven
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

Seen the digg and blog commentary? It’s getting vicious. Everywhere I go I see people saying the man is a pedophile, and very often he is cited as ‘proof’ that al gay people rape children. It’s like all sense of reality is left behind in the formation of the online lynch mob.

Jim Burroway
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

John,

It’s a big deal only in the sense that he did a very stupid thing by lying about having perfectly legal adult sex with a perfectly legal consenting adult. And I think we can all question the wisdom of the age gap thing. I said that all along. He does have a lot to think about in terms of his own personal responsibility for handling these things.

But it’s not a big enough deal to resign over. I’m glad he’s staying. Now he needs to get to work and do his job.

Mike
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

Kissing a 17 yo where you work? What a freaking idiot. And in the bathroom to boot. Jesus. It’s no wonder the gay community can’t get it together.

Emily K
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

I’ll repeat here what I posted on another blog: That what Adams did wasn’t the same as what Vitter did b/c Vitter broke the law in his actions…

******
…except that Adams might have broken the law by kissing and courting a 17 year old. Oregon law says that the kissing would have needed to be for sexual gratification. But IMHO such language is meant to protect people in situations that involve, let’s say, a loving older family member or close friend who gives a minor a platonic smooch (in a situation that, e.g., a platonic hug might be given). Adams kissed Breedlove “on the lips” for “one minute” in a City Hall men’s room. Breedlove interpreted the move as crossing the line from “friends” to “friends with benefits.”

But what REALLY soils this situation is Adams’ chosen defense against what was called a smear attack by a fellow gay politician: that he was the victim of homophobia; how dare anyone think he would have an inappropriate relationship with a minor; and – most importantly – that he takes pride in mentoring confused and vulnerable gay youth. And that only reinforces the anti-gay stereotype that gay men are a “danger” to “vulnerable youth” and “recruit” them into inappropriate relationships. This is the stuff ex-gay testimonies are made of.

********

I look at my 17-year old sister and am horrified at the thought of her kissing a 42 year old man (or woman, for that matter) on the lips for “one minute” in a public restroom. I’m horrified at the thought of her befriending a man or woman that age, and having that friendship cross over into a friendship “with benefits.” Because, even if she’s “not a victim” and “wanted it to happen,” she is still an immature, selfish, vulnerable person who needs to earn her sexual chops from other vulnerable selfish immature people her age. Again, I refer to Dan Savage on this one.

When she is 20, not only will she be a much different person by nature of the maturity process that occurs in this country between 17 and 20; I will think of her differently because of it.

ADDITIONALLY: I am not calling for Adams’ resignation. But I am calling for him to finally, at long last, release the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

homer
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

Meanwhile, the polygamist cults in northern Arizona continue to thrive with grandpas marrying teenage girls.

Norm!
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

WWeek has found Breedlove’s father:

“I cannot make any judgement on Sam,” Marty Breedlove said. But he added that Adams’ involvement with Beau when he was 17, “does have a smell of grooming.”

The father has been laid-off and the city has a reputation for offering heft settlements, so . . .

David C.
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

Hopefully in the past week, he’s done some thinking about how he deals with accepting responsibility as an adult, as a leader, as a gay man — and as a man, period.

One wonders if part of that responsibility is helping with control of the political damage done to Gay Progressives and the whole Gay-Rights movement.

The big disparity in ages between the barely age of consent Breedlove and the 42 year old Adams makes this story all the more juicy and subject to the common disapproval and criticism of our admittedly prudish society. Ignoring for the moment that Adams was operating dangerously close to the edge of the envelope by becoming romantically involved with a very young man, and considering only the misrepresentations by Adams during the election, there would be no valid legal basis for Adams to resign.

Irrespective of whether Adams should resign, and whether that resignation would serve to evidence discharge any of the responsibilities Jim B. enumerated is an open question. I doubt that his resignation would help to contain the damage already done to the image of the Gay-Rights Movement. It might make that damage worse because there would be no opportunity for Adams to vindicate his capacity as a leader, and might even lend credibility to the accusations that he behaved inappropriately if not illegally with a minor.

It’s like all sense of reality is left behind in the formation of the online lynch mob.

No one should be surprised by the online reaction given the titillating nature of a story like this, and there are plenty of anti-gay right wingers frothing at the mouth, looking for a way to spin this to their political advantage. Remember the game Telephone? Well, that game is now played by many millions of users with computers and a world-wide communications network that helps to amplify the distortions. Add a few loops through the anti-gay industry’s propaganda machine, and Adams becomes a pedophile and a child rapist. Lynch-mod mentality indeed!

No matter what, this is an unfortunate turn of events for Gay progressives and the future viability of openly-gay candidates for elected office. As if the barriers weren’t high enough.

Andres
January 26th, 2009 | LINK

I think there are two things to consider. First is the issue of whether the contact with the younger man was legal or not. I do not think there is enough credible information to tell beyond reasonable doubt at this point, so it seems reasonable (at least for now) to go with “if nobody is complaining, then no crime appears to have been committed” for the time being. We can change our point of view on this matter later if/when additional credible data becomes available anyway.

The second issue is that of the appropriateness of such conduct at work, assuming no crime was committed. I say we should react the same way we would if we learned that (say) a married President had improper (but legal) sexual activity with an intern. Would we demand that a President resigns over such activity, and avoiding answering real questions such as what is definition of sexual intercourse etc? We seem to have set a precedent by deciding that resignation is not required when that happens. Today, we might even think that we overreacted in the past. So I do not think we should overreact in this case either and request that he resigns. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t vote for the ex-president nor for the mayor in the future.

This is not a matter of gay or not gay, it is a matter of proper (and maybe illegal) behavior.

Miles
January 27th, 2009 | LINK

I’m bored to tears with this saga. Let it go.

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