Anti Gay Rights Mayor of Spokane Scandal


A few weeks ago due to some really good investigative journalism in Spokane, Washington, it was found that Spokane Mayor Jim West, known for his anti-gay rights conservatism, was found to be soliciting men on Gay.com.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports…
Spokane Mayor Jim West, who championed an anti-gay agenda during his tenure as one of the most powerful Republicans in the Legislature, yesterday admitted to using the trappings of his current office to entice what he thought was a young adult man but denied allegations that he molested two young boys more than 20 years ago.
West confirmed to The Spokesman-Review of Spokane that he offered gifts, favors and a City Hall internship during Internet chats with a man he believed was 18. The online pen pal was actually a forensic computer expert working for the newspaper. After the story hit the newsstands yesterday, West sent city staffers a remorseful e-mail.
“I want to sincerely apologize to you personally for the shame I have brought to the Mayor’s office and the city,” West wrote. “I stumbled and let you down.”
The accusations of child molestation stem from The Spokesman-Review’s three-year investigation and interviews with two felons who said West fondled them and forced them to perform sexual acts on him when they were Boy Scouts.
The accounts have not been confirmed or dismissed by law enforcement officials, and no investigations are planned.
Nonetheless, West’s tacit acknowledgement of gay sex sent political shock waves across the state.
In more than 20 years in the Legislature, West had initiated legislation to outlaw sexual contact between consenting teenagers; supported a bill that would have barred gays and lesbians from working for schools, day care centers and some state agencies; voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman; and, as Senate majority leader, allowed a bill that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians to die in committee without a hearing.

SCANDAL! This happened at the beginning of the month, but the contraversy continues with West refusing to resign from his mayoral post. Talk about being in the closet. Now if only all the other anti-gay rights politicians would come out of the closet we could get somewhere already!

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4 Comments

  1. Posted May 30, 2005 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    What astonishes me about this is that he now portrays himself as someone who is being attacked for his sexual orientation. While there might be some element of that within Spokane politics, can anyone else think of a heterosexual politician who offered a job to someone in return for sexual favors being allowed to remain in office?

  2. andrea
    Posted May 30, 2005 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    B.D. – it’s more than even the fact that he offered political favors in return for sex, it’s the fact that he openly proposed and promoted policies that discriminate against gay people and then when it comes out that he is gay turns around and claims discrimination for his sexual orientation. He can’t have it both ways – if he wants to propose legislation that discriminates against gay people, he can’t get upset when people start treating him unfairly. Maybe now that he sees what it’s like to be discriminated against for your sexual orientation he won’t be so quick to propose discriminatory legislation – though somehow it doesn’t seem like this man has that much self knowledge.

  3. david bennett
    Posted May 31, 2005 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    We’ve seen this before and we’ll see it again. Individuals with some socially condemned feelings or behavior actively identify with their suppression while secretly being driven by who they are. The priests who (I believe) frequently joined the church in the hopes that it would somehow magically stop their sexual drives and then engaged in the most vile behavior are an example.
    Quite simply the fiercest most hateful critics of anything often include those who fear that quality in themselves. For example most evangelicals believe homsexuality wrong, but they don’t rank it paramount on a very long list of sins. But individuals who are or fear they are (“male bonding” has many homoerotic elements) can’t get off the subject, obsess on it and frequently turn out to be hypocrites without honor. To go along with the prejudices of society and hide oneself is one thing, to escalate and exploit these prejudices indicates a sickness and probable extreme self hate. “Tail gunner” Joe McCarthy’s “brain” Roy Cohn was another rightist of this type.
    This terrible distortion of the human is another reason to make gayness acceptable.

  4. Posted June 1, 2005 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Andrea – I agree. I was just avoiding the obvious hyporcrisy issue which is being covered quite well in the local Seattle papers (well, The Stranger, at least). He deserves a special hell like most people who practice such destructive to others hypocrisy. I merely wanted to address the political position on a more superficial level.

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