Seattle mayor, facing sexual abuse allegations, says he will resign

SEATTLE, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, dogged since April by mounting allegations of child sexual abuse, said he would resign as mayor effective Wednesday afternoon.

Murray's decision to resign effectively ends the decades-long political career of Seattle's first openly gay mayor. As a senator in Washington state's legislature, he championed legalizing same-sex marriage. As mayor, he campaigned to raise the minimum wage.

In recent months, he has faced growing pressure to resign as more people came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray attends a dinner reception for Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle, Washington September 22, 2015. Xi landed in Seattle on Tuesday to kick off a week-long U.S. visit that will include meetings with U.S. business leaders, a black-tie state dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama and an address at the United Nations.

(REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (R) sings during a prayer service at First Free Methodist Church on the Seattle Pacific University campus in Seattle, Washington June 6, 2014. Police looked for a motive Friday after a gunman opened fire the day before at the small Christian college in Seattle, killing one person before being subdued by a group of students.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

Mayor Ed Murray (C) addresses the crowd during a rally at City Hall after a Seattle City Council meeting in which the council voted on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Seattle, Washington June 2, 2014. The Seattle city council voted unanimously on Monday to approve a sharp increase in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years, marking the first time a major U.S. city has committed to such a high base level of pay.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

Mayor Ed Murray (C) speaks to the media at City Hall after a Seattle City Council meeting in which the council voted on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour in Seattle, Washington June 2, 2014. The Seattle city council voted unanimously on Monday to approve a sharp increase in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next seven years, marking the first time a major U.S. city has committed to such a high base level of pay.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray holds an oversized bag of limited edition Seattle Mix Skittles candy during a public rally for the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks at Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington January 29, 2014. The Seahawks meet the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII February 2 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

Ed Murray (L) is pictured with his husband Michael Shiosaki (C) and Gary Locke (R) after being sworn in as Mayor of Seattle at City Hall in Seattle, Washington January 6, 2014. Murray is the first ever openly gay mayor to be elected to office in Seattle.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

Mayors Michael Hancock of Denver (L) and Ed Murray of Seattle pose for pictures as they pretend to fight for the upcoming Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks at a reception with U.S. mayors at the White House in Washington January 23, 2014.

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

City of Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray, who is gay, addresses a crowd of students during a rally in support of Eastside Catholic High School's former Vice Principal Mark Zmuda at the Archdiocese of Seattle chancery building in Seattle, Washington, December 20, 2013. Students rallied for a second day of protests in Seattle on Friday after the Catholic high school asked Zmuda, a popular administrator and coach, to resign because he married his same-sex partner.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

Ed Murray (L) is sworn in as Mayor of Seattle by Gary Locke (C) as Murray's husband Michael Shiosaki (R) watches at City Hall in Seattle, Washington January 6, 2014. Murray is the first ever openly gay mayor to be elected to office in Seattle.

(REUTERS/David Ryder)

US Muriel Bowser (L), Mayor of Washington DC, and Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle, take part in a press conference titled 'US Mayors on the Future of US Climate Action' in Mexico City, on December 2, 2016. Mayors from scores of the world's biggest cities gather in Mexico to plot their strategy for yor climate change in the face of skepticism from US President-elect Donald Trump.

(ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is welcomed on stage by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (2nd L) and his spouse Michael Shiosaki during a rally at Rainer Beach High School in Seattle on March 22, 2016.

(JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

Seattle mayor Ed Murray speaks at Through the Eyes of Art at EMP Museum, Sky Church on February 7, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

(Photo by Suzi Pratt/Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray attends the opening night of the Seattle International Film Festival at McCaw Hall on May 14, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

(Photo by Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic)

10th Annual Mayor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film recipient Megan Griffiths and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray attend the Seattle International Film Festival opening night gala at McCaw Hall on May 14, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

(Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and rapper Draze pose for a photo at Through the Eyes of Art at EMP Museum, Sky Church on February 7, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

(Photo by Suzi Pratt/Getty Images)

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"While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public's business," Murray said in a statement announcing his resignation.

Murray also is an opponent of President Donald Trump. During Murray's tenure as mayor, Seattle sued Trump over his executive order cracking down on sanctuary cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration agents.

Seattle Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon Murray's resignation, which is effective Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Five men have come forward to accuse Murray of sexually abusing them as children.

He has consistently denied the accusations, calling them politically motivated. Still, Murray dropped his re-election bid in May. At the time he said he would stay on as mayor until his term expired at year's end.

In April, a 46-year-old man sued Murray, claiming the mayor paid the man for sex when he was a homeless, drug-addicted teenager in the 1980s. That man later dropped his lawsuit.

The Seattle Times reported in July that a child welfare report filed with the state of Oregon said Murray sexually abused his teenage foster son in the 1980s.

Murray announced his decision to resign on Tuesday, after the Seattle Times reported that his younger cousin told the newspaper that the mayor repeatedly molested him as a teenager in the 1970s. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; editing by Peter Cooney and David Gregorio)

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