Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mayor Sam Adams

Up here in Portland we have a mayor that has had some intrigue over some sexual misconduct. It came out that our openly gay mayor had sex with an 18 year old intern.

Immediately, people were calling for his dismissal, and I found myself in a couple of interesting discussions on the morality of a mayor who would have sex with someone that the media referred to as "a teenage boy".

While it's easy for me to say that sex and politics should be separate, I might have a different opinion if our mayor had been some crusty old fat fart who molested a 16 year old girl or boy. But that wasn't the case.

It seems to me that we have some sort of sexual hangups that are impacting our collective judgment toward our good mayor. It is not simply that we want him to behave like a "man of politics" - by now we should be well aware that most politicians behave immorally some way or another. Instead, it is a projection of our own collective values and issues upon our public servants. Do we really want someone who behaves like a priest, or is it that we just don't want to hear about homosexuality openly? I have my own opinions about what we want and don't want, as I'm sure that you do, too.

As a side note, it's interesting that he didn't "break the law", but if he had decided to marry the young man (who is old enough to die for his country but not old enough to have sex with a mayor), he wouldn't be able to because the state and nation don't recognize gay marriage.

Catch 22



Not Hannah said...

Powerful stuff, Brian. Lots to think about here...

Anonymous said...

Although I believe your arguement is very valid, I also hope to elect a represenative that is....represenative of me. I do not believe the decison to have sex with an 18-year old boy is a good decison. It is not represenative of a mine morals and ethics. We all have made bad choices that loom over us, but there is a line in the sand.

bk4077 said...


I agree that representation is a key component of a representative government.
That being said, I also believe that civic ethics and civic morality can be different from personal morality.
And I believe that sex with an 18 year old, while I don't necessarily agree with it, doesn't hinder one's ability to govern.
That being said, I also fully understand others who disagree with me.
And that is why I love being in a country where citizens can agree to disagree.