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February 28th, 2007 Byron Beck | Queer Window
 

THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S PARTNER

City Commish turns private life into politic action.

     
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Welcome to my world, Sam Adams.

Actually, it's stupid of me to compare our worlds. You sit on City Council and help oversee a billion-dollar budget. I sit in a cubicle in Northwest and Google "Britney Spears" and "shaved head." You run with the big dogs. I walk my dogs every night after work. You've just lost 35 pounds. I seem to be gaining 35.

You get my drift.

But now you went and filed a lawsuit last week forcing our legal system to deal with the breakup of your 11-year relationship with Greg Eddie. And that leap into the world of lawyers and legal blah-blah with your personal life is a little like what my partner, Juan, and I did two years ago (except for the breakup thing. We're not doing that) when we filed Martinez v. Kulongoski, which is now in the appeals process. We're suing for the right to have our partnerships—whether together or apart—be recognized by the state as something more than just bed buddies. And, like your case, Basic Rights Oregon has our back as we swim the shark-infested waters of pissed-off pundits who think they have the right to tell us how to live our lives.

Where we differ, though, is how we got here.

Compared with you, I'm a big nobody. So I haven't had that much to surrender by confessing the most intimate details of my personal life in Willamette Week and in our highest courts. On the other hand, you're a somebody—a big somebody—who could one day become our mayor, which means more national attention when reporters realize PDX would be the largest city to have an out queer chief.

If I recall correctly, it was a big deal when WW printed your sexual status. I guess it's safe to assume you'd still rather talk about politics than chat about the real reasons behind breaking up with the person you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with.

After last Tuesday's press confab, where you and Greg still looked like the picture-perfect couple you used to be, I asked you why you broke up. You told me, after Greg slapped me on the arm and said, "You can't ask that," that you two had "grown apart."

That's a pretty safe answer from a guy who knows just how to play it safe. I know the courtroom is probably the last place Greg wants to be with you in this situation. But, as he told me, "I don't have any other choice." And I'm glad you guys can still talk about your "non-dating lives," as you did the night before the press conference.

But as a friend and a fellow litigant, I'm here to say this could get messy. And I'm not talking about the case. I'm talking about the emotions you might go through as you watch your personal life become politicized for a higher cause.

You've had your share of political battles, but have they ever dealt with the actual person you slept with?

I worry about you, because the one thing that has saved me as we hit our second year of legal action is I've always had Juan there to keep me sane. Who's going to save you when things get rough? When the you-know-what hits the fan—and trust me, it always does—who's going to be your go-to guy? Hang tough—this battle could leave scars.

 
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