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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

(MK Remembers) A Tale of 2 different Gay Mayors at their Inaugurals!

Murray/Shirosaki in 2014         /Portin
by MK Scott

It is great to live in the Pacific NW where equality and diversity is thriving, first with Gay Marriage in Washington State and soon coming to Oregon.

One great difference is we have some of the influential Gay Political Leaders in the country and I have gotten to know most of them in the last decade. Of course you know by now, that Politics is not my beat, but when I have it has created an impact.

Last night I attended the inauguration gala of Seattle's Newly sworn in Mayor Ed Murray as I did 5 years ago this week with the Inaugural of Portland Mayor Sam Adams. 

What were the similarities? Differences? Let me tell about last night's event honoring Murray first.

Back in November the famed former Legislator and State Senator, Murray beat the mainstream unpopular one-termer, Mike McGinn. Progressives favored McGinn, but no one could beat the power house and unbeatable (Plus Out and Proud) 18 years experience of  Murray.

Yesterday, Murray, 58,  was sworn at a public ceremony at City Hall and later celebrated with many of the Seattle LGBTQA Elite at Benaroya Hall. Right by his side as well as some of his biggest accomplishments was his Legally Wedded Husband, Michael Shirosaki. Who when asked, how did he want to be addressed, he responded with simply, 'First Gentlemen' or 'Michael'.

Entertainment was performed by the band, the Side Project.

Murray and Shirosaki walked through a crowd of well-wishers like ROCK STARS and spoke at the podium briefly.

Adams in 2009                  /Scott
Now going back 5 years, Sam Adams, then at 45, had only 4 years of experience when he ran for Mayor in 2008 and was the first openly Gay Mayor-Elect of a Top 30 US City (a year later Rank #4 Houston New Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker overtook Adams place as first).

In January 2009, Adams took the oath of office at a High School in his district of North Portland, his goals were creating more family-wage jobs, reducing the high school dropout rate, and making Portland more sustainable. Noticeably absent was his partner, Peter Zuckerman, a reporter for the Oregonian. All the reporters there noticed this detail. I personally was not there so I don't know this to be true. I however did attend the Inaugural Gala at City Hall. I saw Peter there but never saw them together. Adams, greeted a line of well-wishers and hugged each one. The atmosphere was more fun and arts focused with Jugglers and performance artists.

The difference between the 2 Galas were that Murray/Shirosaki were a power house and legally married couple, while Adams/Zuckerman were only dating for about a year and lived separate lives.

Then 2 weeks later, all hell broke loose when it was revealed Adams lied about a Sexual Relationship with Legislative Intern, Beau Breedlove, during campaign and half of Portland's LGBT community demanded his resignation, the other rallied by his side. Adams refused to resign and was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. Adams said the deception about the relationship was warranted because a political opponent had falsely accused him of having sex with a minor, but later apologized.

Zuckerman at Seattle Book signing in 2012
After 2 failed recall campaigns, Adams remained in office and chose not seek re-election. Adams is now the Executive Director of the City Club of Portland and when saw him this past July, he was happy and content as he wished Murray well. Zuckerman left town briefly during the scandal, and co-wrote a book called, 'Buried in the sky' in 2012, about the 2008 K2 disaster. The book has won numerous awards. Zuckerman and Adams plan to Marry once it is legal in Oregon.

Now with Murray and Shirosaki as a committed (Scandal Free) Power couple, Seattle looks bright and exiting. Adams and Murray have made their mark in NW Politics and Gay History and am proud to know them both.

See OUTview Debuts with  a Scandal!

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