Friday, March 10, 2023

Sad and Disturbing News Regarding a Running Associate

 About a week ago, I was sent a message that the mayor of a small Maryland city had been arrested. The charge? Possession of pornography. Of children.

Another pol falls. Oh, well. Seen it countless times before, right?

Except this time, it’s a runner that, on average, is at every other Saturday park run. (I’m at every one). And has been since the second one in 2016. And has been part of a five man group of runners that got together on Sundays beginning in May 2020 when churches were closed and organized running races were shut down. The mayor was the young one (44) in this group of 50 and 60 year olds. Another local mayor, a college science professor, and a high school counselor. And me. We’d run about nine miles, stopping at a couple of spots for water or just to rest. For me, running more than four miles was a big step! I didn’t think I could do it safely. Turned out, I could. Just run slower. Take breaks. Running longer distances, even slowly, makes for a faster runner. Within one year, my 5k best time had improved to 23:25, 30 seconds better than ever before. 

The accused man has been openly gay for decades and in 2006 was one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that overturned Maryland’s marriage laws that precluded gay marriage. He became a city councilman in 2007 and then the mayor since 2015.

My opinions about gay marriage differ from his. Then and now. And we are probably in different political parties. But I found him to be friendly, tolerant of other political views, and basically just a regular guy. Not flamboyant or promiscuous, as far as I could tell. He has been with the same partner for 25 years. He sought to be a good example during the coronavirus lockdowns and often bought takeout from restaurants when they were shut down. Volunteered at food banks on Saturdays. Even wore a mask while running in those early days. Never harsh words to say about anyone. Never anything but a smile when that mask was removed. And, most importantly, never displayed any inappropriate behavior or words towards anyone, and that certainly includes children.

So what happened? I don’t know. I’d like to believe that this is a huge mistake and that the wrong person has been arrested. The trial is months away, but those hopes seem quite unrealistic. So far, we are told that the ex-mayor was caught with 50+ illegal images from January on a text message account. The police confiscated his phones and computers and are no doubt on a fishing expedition to see what else they can find. The best bet for his family and friends is that he had a one time perverted, repulsive, ugly temptation early this year and hasn’t ever done this before. 

That’s not usually the case, though.

He was denied bail before trial.

He may never be free again.

The awful truth is that children were and are being used in terrible ways. And men like this create the demand which causes cretins to make these awful images or videos.

Children must be protected from exploitation and abuse. This, thankfully, is one aspect regarding our children that we all agree upon. But it also applies to efforts by some to teach children to hate their own bodies so much that they poison themselves with cross-sex hormones and get mutilated with permanent body modifying surgeries.