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Atlanta Fire Chief given one-month suspension over religious, anti-gay treatise

Kelvin Cochran

Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended for one month without pay after some employees complained about a religious manifesto they were given by the fire chief, reports The Washington Post’s Abby Ohlheiser.  The screed, entitled Who Told You That You Were Naked?, makes specific – and to some, deeply offensive – references to homosexuality and gay people stating,  “Uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.” In another section, Cochran [writes] that “naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed took action against Cochran immediately. “I am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” Reed said in a statement. He added that in the future, Cochran will be prohibited from distributing the book on city property; he will also be required to undergo sensitivity training.

But for some groups, sensitivity training and bans on distributing books, religious or otherwise, isn’t enough. According to WABE, at least one local LGBT group has asked for Cochran’s permanent removal from the force. “Frankly the only course of action at this point and time is his immediate and permanent dismissal,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality. “It appears that his language is so extreme, so belittling of gay and transgender people that I don’t see how he could possibly lead a diverse workforce.

City spokeswoman Anne Torres disagrees. “Too soon,” was her response to calls for Cochran’s immediate dismissal. She added that she doesn’t know how many people were given his book or why.

Cochran first served as Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. The next year, President Obama appointed him as the U.S. fire administrator for the United States Fire Administration. He returned to Atlanta, and his old job as the fire chief, in 2010.

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2014. Filed under Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “Atlanta Fire Chief given one-month suspension over religious, anti-gay treatise”

  1. It is time for all Americans to throw out the book of political correctness. The p.o.c crap has got to go. We believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and free speech The LGBT people are forcing most citizens to despise them and their agenda.Do what you LGBT’er want in the privacy of you one home and leave the rest of us citizens alone. you wonder why most people do not lie you. keep forcing your ideas on the rest of us and you will see.

  2. I’ve seen the excerpts in question and have to say, you have a very strange idea of what constitutes a “screed.”

    If 34 years and a big hat-tip from America’s first black president aren’t proof enough to you that the man can do his job, I don’t know what is.

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