Get out of the mayor's bed: Gen Y says leave politician's sex lives alone

by Patrick Mongeau (b. 1984)

If there is one thing Barack Obama did to influence presidential politics in this last election, it was to reverse the nature of the conversation from negative to positive. He responded in a positive manner to accusations against him, careful not to keep silent when attacked, but thoughtful and direct in his response. It wasn't always easy, but it gave birth to the important conversation always lurking underneath.

Obama made sure that the 2008 campaign talked about governmental issues, instead of frivolous scandals that might oust the right person for the job from the race based on hearsay. But Obama wasn't able to pull local politics up with him.

Case in point: the newly elected mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, had to skip Obama's inauguration because he is facing a personal scandal. Apparently, in 2005, he dated and had sex with Beau Breedlove (real name), who was only 18 at the time. Adams was 42. Now, the establishment is clamoring for his resignation, based on the pretext that he denied the relationship in his 2007 bid for office. I’m only two years older than Breedlove. At eighteen, I was fully capable of choosing a sexual partner, but I'm still not capable of telling the world specific details of my sex life. Why ask so much of our public officers?

The great triumph in Adams' election, he is openly gay, was that it seemed we had accepted the simple truth that his sex life has nothing to do with how qualified he is for the job. The mirror of Obama's election is too obvious to ignore. If someone wants to use his race against him now, they'd try to get him to lie about a personal matter dealing with his race. This is abusive politics.

In the private sector, Adams could easily win a suit against a company ousting him for the same action. We have a government that is run by the people, meaning by some among us. We must allow those in government, then, to be people, and that means accepting their humanity. Let us find compassion for each other in public life.

Patrick Mongeau is a screenwriter, poet, songwriter, joker, thinker, friend, brother, son, cousin, movie critic, bike commuter, bus rider, babysitter, futon seller, pedi-cab driver, temp worker, production assistant, guitar player, and all around good guy.  He lives in the world. 


  1. This particular case involving Mr. Adams has similar undertones to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. The fact that the relationship took place has no bearing on the executive's ability to lead the government, yet both politicians got themselves into hot water when they lied about the relationship. Granted, in President Clinton's case, he lied under oath. In Sam Adams' case, he lied during the campaign. The decision that Sam Adams had to make between coming clean about the relationship during the campaign in 2005 and denying the relationship must have been difficult for him. On the one hand, he risked alienating a group of voters who may have seen his relationship with Mr. Breedlove improper. On the other hand, Mr. Adams ran the chance of losing credibility if the matter surfaced at a later time. Politics should stay out of people's bedrooms. Unfortunately, Mr. Adams will have some questions to answer about his integrity when and if he runs for office again.

  2. Hmm, I think I've asked far too reasonable people to write and comment for this blog. Where's the ire? Yes, yes, we all agree and find a happy middle ground, whoopdeedoo, I want fighting! Is this Obama's doing? Grrr. Forget measured debate and proper grammar! Stop weighing both sides of the issue already! Here, check out this incredible series of posts by family members of a deceased guy whose cars were auctioned off: Now, that's blog worthy.

    *Disclaimer: The editor does not actually encourage family-bashing or libel of any sort on her blog. Just healthy discussion and debate. Thanks for reading, commenting, and being intelligent :)