Saturday, January 3, 2009

Portland: Largest US City with Openly Gay Mayor


What a headline. - This from January 1, 2009 in the Portland Examiner:

"Seven months ago, he won the job with 58 percent of the vote in a primary race against a travel agency owner and other, less well known, candidates. That meant he didn't have to run in a November runoff election.
He didn't campaign on gay rights or social issues. "I'm running not to be a gay mayor, but a great mayor," he said.
None of Adams' opponents raised his sexuality in the race. Neither did he.
"This is a testament to how fair-minded Portlanders are that it wasn't an issue," Adams said. "I spend my time on the basic issues of life. A part of that includes equal rights, but that's not even close to a majority of the time."
Adams was one of more than 100 gay, lesbian and bisexual candidates running for federal, state and local offices endorsed earlier this year by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C., group whose aim is to increase the number of openly gay elected officials.
Denis Dison, the organization's spokesman, said 80 of the candidates won, including 33-year-old entrepreneur Jared Polis of Boulder, Colo., who in November became the first openly gay man to win a seat in Congress as a non-incumbent candidate.
Another candidate the group endorsed was Oregon state Sen. Kate Brown, who describes herself as bisexual. She will become Oregon's second-ranking state official when she is sworn in as secretary of state.
She was also, Dison noted, the only winning candidate among the handful the group endorsed for statewide offices. Most winning candidates endorsed by the organization run in local contests - but none of the local candidates represent a population so large as Portland's."

That is a remarkable story, in that gays are garnering ever-increasing power in public office. What a wonderful human rights victory. The most interesting part of this article speaks of Sam Adams - Portland's mayor-elect - his platform was not about sexuality or social issues and the fair minded residents of Portland overwhelmingly accepted that.

Would that we were all as accepting of our GLBTQ friends.

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