Amidst pressure from a swiftly escalating, decades-old sex abuse scandal, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday that he was withdrawing his candidacy for re-election.
As I wrote here previously, the sex abuse charges from first one, then three, then four men who allege Murray gave them money in exchange for sex acts when each alleged victim was a minor (and in Murray’s custody where he was a counselor at a group home in the 1980’s) did not look good.
Murray has not stepped down as mayor, but the sex abuse scandal proved more than was manageable for re-election.
Let me just say that as a conservative with libertarian tendancies, there is almost nothing politically that I like about Mayor Murray, and Seattle will simply elect another progressive, near-Socialist anyway. So, while I think Mayor Murray not seeking re-election is a wise move, there is a good, bad and ugly aspect to his stepping aside.
Many, myself included, wondered if identity politics would prove politically surmountable when the politician in question was an openly gay, married man. Particularly one who espouses all the politically correct, social justice warrior, progressive tripe Seattleites love to hear.
As I wrote previously, the Seattle magazine The Stranger initially decided to go with the angle of attacking the law firm co-founder, Jack Connelly (a Democrat), representing the plaintiff. Even though Connelly wasn’t involved in the case and the lead attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, was notably supportive of the LGBT agenda.
Beauregard said of the case and the mayor early on, “I hope that another gay mayor, who doesn’t molest children, gets elected. And our client is full on gay.”
Identity politics took a hit here. Hillary Clinton’s postulation that every sexual assault victim deserves to be believed was clearly applied regardless of sexual preference or fairness…or legality. Which brings us to the bad.
So, Ed Murray hasn’t actually been convicted of anything.
He has four accusers with sad family histories and admitted drug use at the time of the alleged sexual assault. It is a big, big, BIG problem that public figures are tried in the media long before a case ever sees a courtroom.
Whether or not you think Ed Murray is guilty, his career as a politician is likely over, if not severely set back.
If you’re an openly gay progressive or a conservative Christian, your life and career should not be up for destruction simply because you’ve been accused of something.
Our justice system — not the media and public opinion privy to precious little facts — is supposed to be the arbiter of guilt or innocence. Exulting in Murray’s demise is unbecoming of anyone who believes in “innocent until proven guilty.”
Whether Ed Murray is or was a sex abuser of underage children in his custody is for the courts to determine. Which brings us to the final point.
The LGBT community has spent decades attempting to show the average American they aren’t sexual predators. That they aren’t molesters or pedophiles. I honestly believe that’s true for the most part — which is exactly what I’d say about the majority straight community.
The ugly truth is that Ed Murray is the most high-profile, openly gay man in public office since Congressman Barney Frank. This scandal is exactly what the gay community does not need. Forevermore, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will be an easily pointed to example of every stigma the LGBT community has been fighting against.
Ed Murray needed to step aside because ultimately, and thankfully, sexual assault of any logical plausibility still seems to matter to Americans no matter your sexual preference. At the same time, everyone should be put on notice that, like Hillary’s tweet implied, accusers are given extraordinary deference.