Sam Adams, Portland’s Openly Gay Mayor, Sworn In

San Francisco’s homo-friendly Gavin Newsom isn’t the only newsworthy mayor to the gays. There’s the transgendered mayor in Silverton, Oregon. And now Portland welcomes Sam Adams, the first openly gay mayor of a major city.

There was a countdown at Portland’s City Hall overnight, but it wasn’t to ring in 2009. About 40 people — including the mother and partner of Sam Adams — were on hand to sip sparkling wine and watch as the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city was officially sworn in at 12:01 a.m. Adams gave a short speech after taking the oath.

‘Portland is seeing for the first time the great team that will work with me, the city council and all Portlanders to get the city moving forward again,” he said. “These are tough times, but we are more than up to the challenge.”[Oregonian]

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  • Steve

    “were on hand to sip sparkling wine and watch as the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city”

    This is not true. Providence, RI has had an openly gay mayor for years now. While The portland area is larger than the Providence metro area, I think 1.6 million people in an area is nothing to snub your nose down at (city population of about 165,000).

  • Yup

    David Cicilline was the first openly gay mayor of a state capital.

    Do some research.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Portland, Oregon is the New San Francisco! Ssssh, don’t pass it around!

    Like the Mayor, but “Eh” on the Beer…

  • Greg

    There’s no need to get worked up over who was the first gay mayor of a major city. It depends on your definition of what a “major city” is.

    Portland has well over 500,000 residents in the city itself, and over 2 million in the region. Let’s just say this is the biggest US city to have a gay mayor yet.

  • Jeff

    Well you are all forgetting Ed Koch.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    And Mike Bloomberg…..who likes the Skater Dudes we hear!

  • Charles J. Mueller


    There were lots of suspicions and allusions to Ed Koch being gay, but no proof it.

    Of course, that’s not to say that it isn’t possible. ;-)

  • Mucklucky

    OUT people OUT

    Mayor Adams is the first OUT mayor of a top 20 population city.

    He also has the patience of Job. He was Mayor Vera Katz 2nd in command for years. And I can tell you now, she may have been popular, but she was not fun to be around.

    He actually looks to be someone who can (like Obama) take the current situation and DO something positive about it.

  • Greg


    Actually, Portland is #30 in population of US cities according to Wikipedia, so none of the “top 20” cities have had a gay mayor yet.

  • Jason

    As one of the above commenters mentioned, David Cicciline was elected mayor of Providence in 2002 and is openly gay (and was out long before he was elected).

    Providence proper is smaller, but this is mainly because New England draws provincial boundaries more tightly… it’s actually a major metropolitan area of around 1.6 million people, and the mayor of Providence is one of the most prominent political positions in the entire state (as evidenced by Cicciline’s predecessor, the now-infamous Buddy Cianci).

  • Brian Miller

    City boundaries are arbitrary — metro areas, much less so. For example, Houston keeps trying to claim it’s a larger, more important city than Philadelphia, but the city proper of Houston at 600 square miles and 2.2 million people is larger than the entire metro region of Philadelphia (at 580 square miles and 6.2 million people).

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Actually, he has a dreamy, kind of “Leading Man”, heartthrob look about him.

    He should be on the silver screen. lol

  • Ron A

    Now Sam is going to get fired for having sex with a 18 year old subordinate… Hegot himself in deeper trouble by asking the young man to make false statements about the relationship.

    Two weeks onto the job and he’s making a very poor showing.

    Additionally, he pulled out the hate crime card in denying the allegation to his accuser. “This is one of the worst smears you can make on a gay guy. It preys upon homophobic stereotypes that gay men cannot be trusted with young people”

  • Portlander

    He was not a subordinate, he was an intern for another office in another city; both parties were consenting adults, and neither was in a relationship with anyone else.

    Monica Lewinsky, anyone?

    I’d rather he lied about having sex than about, say, cheating the city out of millions of dollars.

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