A Mississippi mayor's purchase at a Toronto sex store with public money has pushed him to reveal he is gay, a Tennessee newspaper reported.
Southaven Mayor Greg Davis' expense receipts showed that he spent $67 of taxpayers' funds at Priape in Toronto, as well as thousands of dollars on liquor and expensive dinners, the Commercial Appeal newspaper reported.
After details of the purchase at the Church Street store, described as "Canada's premiere gay lifestyle store and sex shop" on its website, emerged, the Republican politician conceded for the first time that he is 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," Davis told the newspaper in an interview at his Southaven, Miss. home last week.
"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."
Davis, who is mayor of Mississippi's third-largest city, told the newspaper he did not remember what he bought at the store during a recruitment trip to Toronto.
As well, Davis would not discuss the receipts, which were obtained by the Commercial Appeal under a Freedom of Information request.
Davis, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2008 on a conservative, family-values platform, told the Commercial Appeal he couldn't discuss specifics on the advice of his attorney.
State auditors have demanded that Davis repay the city approximately $170,000 for improper charges to his city-issued and personal credit cards, the newspaper reported. The receipts were given to auditors with the hopes of reducing that amount. Davis has paid $96,000 so far.