A Republican mayor in Mississippi admitted this week that he was gay after an audit revealed that he spent taxpayer money at a gay adult store in Canada.
Greg Davis was elected as the mayor of Southaven in 1997 on a platform of conservative "family values," but he says he recently realized that he was gay.
"At this point in my life and in my career, while I have tried to maintain separation between my personal and public life, it is obvious that this can no longer remain the case," the mayor, now in his third term, told The Commercial Appeal.
"While I have performed my job as mayor, in my opinion, as a very conservative, progressive individual -- and still continue to be a very conservative individual -- I think that it is important that I discuss the struggles I have had over the last few years when I came to the realization that I am gay," he added.
Davis claimed that he has already paid $96,000 of the of more than $170,000 in expenses that state officials allege he improperly billed the city for.
Thousands of dollars were spent on lavish meals and liquor, but it's a $67 charge that Davis made to Priape, "Canada's premiere gay lifestyle store and sex shop," while on a recruiting trip that has gotten the most attention.
The mayor said that he didn't remember what he bought while at the shop.
"At this point, my goal is to ensure that for the next year and a half that the city continues to grow," Davis said, refusing to step down. "I will evaluate whether I will run again as mayor at a later time."
"The only apology I would make to my supporters if they are upset is the fact that I was not honest enough with myself to be honest with them. But I have lived my life in public service for 20-plus years, and in order for me to remain sane and move on, I have got to start being honest about who I am," he explained.
Following a failed 2008 run for Congress, Davis divorced his wife. He said he planned to spend time with this three daughters over the holidays.
Listen to this audio from The Commercial Appeal, recorded Dec. 15, 2011.
Photo: Greg Davis for Congress