Southaven is the state’s third largest city and is a neighboring city and suburb of Memphis, Tenn.
State auditors gave Davis’ expense receipts to Southaven’s aldermen and details of his purchase began to surface on Thursday. The politician told the newspaper in an interview that he is gay and has had a difficult time keeping the issue from impacting his job as mayor of Southaven.
"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 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 said.
The Republican ran for Congress in 2008, promoting family-values but was not elected.
State auditors obtained the receipts hoping to reduce the $170,000 that Davis owes. The auditors found the purchase to be "improper charges to both his city-issued and personal credit cards." In addition, the auditors asked city aldermen to look over the expense receipts "before making a decision on accepting them to reduce Davis’ payments," the newspaper wrote. Davis has already paid back $96,000.
The Commercial Appeal obtained the receipts under a Freedom of Information request and claims that Davis spent "thousands of dollars at the Mesquite Chop House in Southaven and thousands more at local liquor stores."
According to the receipts, Davis charged $67 at a gay sex store in Toronto called Priape. He visited the Canadian city on a recruitment trip with Mid-South warehouse developers. The politician claims he does not remember what he purchased at Priape.
"At this point, my goal is to ensure that for the next year and a half that the city continues to grow," he said. "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."
In a similar case an anti-gay politician from Australia was caught in a gay porn scandal, Carnal Nation reported.
Australian Member of Parliament Rev. Fred Nile was allegedly using the House of Parliament’s computers to look at gay porn websites. After an audit of the Parliament’s computers, there were more than 200,000 "suspect hits" under Niel’s username. The reverend claims that he was only "researching" the websites.
"My senior researcher has conducted a lot of research into the pornography industry at my request because we have bills dealing with increasing the ban on pornographic materials," he said.
"I have not accessed or viewed any of those sites but my researcher has, particularly ... the Sex Party, Eros Foundation and others and through those sites, they do have links to hardcore pornographic material which (those websites) support."
Unfortunately, Tennessee does not extend many rights to its LGBT community. The state does not recognize same-sex marriages and the law does not punish discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Tennessee legislatures have also passed an anti-gay measure called "Don’t Say Gay." The rule prohibits schools from mentioning LGBT issues in schools and strips local governments of the ability to implement anti-discrimination measures that would protect LGBT people, EDGE reported in a May 20 article.