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Fire Chief Suspended for Anti-Gay Remarks

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has just been handed a month’s suspension without pay because of comments he made in a book he authored last year.  The book, titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” is based on Cochran’s Christian faith and includes his opinions of homosexuality, which he describes as a “sexual perversion”.  Employees discovered the remarks in the book and filed a complaint with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office.  Along with his suspension, Cochran will now have to undergo sensitivity training and will not be permitted to distribute his book to any public employees.  Cochran has been a firefighter since 1981 and the Atlanta Fire Chief since 2010.  In his book, he states that his goal as Fire Chief is to “cultivate its culture to the glory of God”. Tim Head, FFC Executive Director stated about the issue: “Chief Cochran’s view is as popular now as it was over two-thousand years ago when Jesus said it. Sexual relationships outside of marriage are ultimately unfulfilling, whether with members of the opposite or same sex, with a single or multiple partners. The Atlanta mayor and city council’s discipline of Chief Cochran is as shallow as their apparent reading of his book. He has as much right to speak and write about his beliefs as any Atlanta politician does. In Chief Cochran’s distinguished career, he has led complex fire departments across the country, which is why Atlanta’s former mayor hired Chief Cochran to run Atlanta’s fire department and why President Obama appointed him to lead the U.S. Fire Administration a few years ago. The mayor and city council need to wash their hands of this and let Chief Cochran get back to doing his job.” Contact Mayor Kasim Reed and urge him to lift the suspension and to stop infringing on religious freedom!

E-mail: mkreed@atlantaga.gov

Phone: (404) 330-6100

Mail: 55 Trinity Ave. Suite 2500, Atlanta, GA 30303.

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