If Clement gets the award for "gay," and Gentry gets the award for "gayer," then David Briley takes home the award for "gayest." 

David Briley wants your vote for mayor.  Briley might not actually be gay (yes, we know; none of the other candidates are), but he might just be the candidate that best represents the gay voter.  After a quick question and answer session, Briley seems to be the most progressive candidate on the ballot.  So just who is David Briley?

A native of Nashville, Briley was raised in the Green Hills area, where he attended Glendale Elementary, David Lipscomb Middle and graduated from Montgomery Bell high school. He studied history at Georgetown University and received a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Golden Gate University in California. 

David traveled Latin America working as a teacher and during this interview said it gave him “perspective.”  He contended that, “until I stepped outside of the United States, I really didn’t have the full appreciation of how lucky we are.  I realized how wonderful a place Nashville truly was.” 

Briley has been married to Jodie Bell for the past eleven years, and they have one son. He has served on the Metro Council for the past eight years.

Recently, Briley sat down with O&AN for a one-on-one exclusive. Here is what he had to say about issues facing many GLBT voters in Metro Nashville. 

O&AN:  What is your platform?  What are a few of the major issues that you are concerned most about?

Briley:  If elected mayor, my major concerns would be economic vitality, better schools and safer streets.  I am very committed to improving public education. I will work hard to maintain the character of Nashville, while balancing that with more downtown development. The quality of the environment is another concern I have for Nashville. 

O&AN:  How has serving on the Metro City Council prepared you for the position of mayor?

Briley:  During the past eight years on the Council, I have been exposed to many diverse populations of Nashvillians across all racial and economic lines. Because of this, I believe I can best represent Nashville.

From speaking to all these groups, I have a sound vision of where Nashville is and where we need to go over the next twenty to twenty-five years. In fact, I recently attended PrideFest with my wife, son, brother and even my mother.  I enjoyed talking to everyone that attended about their vision for Nashville.

O&AN:  Would members of the GBLT community be able to openly serve and work under your administration if elected?

Briley:  Absolutely. People are people. Our differences are what make us that much more special. 

O&AN:  Bob Clement recently stated that he was uncommitted to providing partnership benefits for same-sex couples.  If elected the next mayor of Nashville, what is your view on this issue?

Briley:  More and more private companies in Nashville are providing same-sex couples with benefits. In order to be competitive with the private sector and hire the brightest employees, I would support this if it is financial feasible for the Metro Government. It is a matter of good business, not sexual orientation. 

O&AN:  As mayor, how might you respond to hate crimes against members of the GLBT community, especially in light of recent incidents of hate in Warren county? 

Briley:  I am 100 percent committed to doing everything I can to fight hate crimes whether based on sexual orientation or race. Nashvillians should feel safe in their community, and I will do anything I can to keep Nashville a safe place to live and work. 

O&AN:  Howard Gentry was recently interviewed by O&AN and was asked about his 2003 deciding vote that defeated an anti-discriminatory ordinance for gay and lesbian employees.  He stated that the bill had “no real teeth to it” and that there was no real need. What is your opinion on this matter?

Briley:  I was actually on the Metro Council in 2003, and I voted in favor of adding sexual orientation as a protected class against discrimination. I would absolutely support this resolution if it came before the Council again. 

O&AN:  Recently O&AN was pulled out of Kroger stores. Do you personally have a problem with O&AN being in Kroger or any other grocery store?

Briley:  I read about that. I was really kind of confused by the whole incident. It really isn’t good for business.  Personally, I do not have a problem with the newspaper being in Kroger. I think the Nashville Scene is more offensive than Out & About Newspaper with the sexual nature of some of its ads.

For more information on David Briley and his campaign, visit www.davidbriley.com.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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