Seattle’s LGBTQ Commission is demanding the city’s openly gay mayor resign immediately following allegations that he sexually abused his teenage foster son and three others in the 1980s.
In a scathing letter sent to Mayor Ed Murray on Monday, the commission referenced a child welfare report filed with the state and published by The Seattle Times that seemed to indicate that Murray sexually abused his foster son Jeff Simpson when he was a teenager.
Murray has strongly pushed back on the claims and labeled them homophobic – something the city’s LGBTQ commission took issue with.
“We perceive your attempt to dismiss these claims as a ‘politically motivated’ monolithic issue of homophobia to be a maneuver that is divisive and damaging to our community,” the letter said. “Claiming homophobic intent to shield yourself from accountability and erase the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse is silencing, manipulative, and morally repugnant.”
The commission said the mayor’s response to the allegations have been “harmful and inappropriate.”
No criminal charges were ever filed in connection with the May 20, 1984 Oregon Child Protective Services report, though the report recommended that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future.
The three other boys who claimed they were sexually abused ranged in age from 13 to about 15 years old.
The disturbing details of the report have several city leaders calling for Murray to resign ahead of the November election.
“Noting both that you are the first openly gay Mayor of Seattle, and that many individuals on the Seattle LGBTQ Commission were appointed by you, we do not take our decision to call for your resignation lightly,” the letter said. “While some may say that you should be given the opportunity to serve out the remainder of your term, we feel that would be inadequate. With both moral and pragmatic motivations, we feel we must call for your resignation.”
Last week, current mayoral candidate Jessyn Ferrell and former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn called for Murray to step down.