Sam Adams, the openly fabulous mayor of Portland, Oregon, screwed an 18-year-old intern, the improbably named Beau Breedlove, and lied about it. Why? Because he'd just broken up with his boyfriend, he told Out.
Handily, Oregon law gives him six months before he can be booted by a recall. And it's not clear if he even did anything wrong when he pursued the affair in 2005. Breedlove was a legislative intern, but he didn't work for Adams, then 42 and a member of the city council. Both agree Breedlove was 18 when the relationship became physical, though Breedlove recently told the Oregonian that they kissed in a bathroom when he was 17.
No matter! Pursuing a relationship across a 24-year-age gap looks bad. And lying about it, as Adams and Breedlove did in 2007 when rumors first surfaced, is the real problem. His apologia:
I was forty-[two], however many years older than he was. And an elected official. I think the difference in age and the fact that I was an elected official made it inappropriate.... [E]lected officials are held to higher standards, and I know that. I can say, at the time, I was very flattered by the attention. I’d recently ended my 11-year relationship. I was dating again. I didn’t think it through....
When a straight person screws up, and there have been a number of straight political figures who have, I don’t think that paints a brush on all straight politicians. I think that American’s are smart enough to know that we’re all unique. We’re all individuals.
Adams wants to make it clear: This is not about him being gay. Oh, and Out magazine wants you to know it's not about being gay, either. Here's how Out's publicity department describes the magazine: "Out is the definitive personal style guide for men, offering the latest trends and service information for a highly evolved and active consumer. Always ahead of the curve, Out sets the trends that people follow." So there you have it: Adams's problem isn't that he's gay. It's that he's highly evolved.