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Atlanta Mayor Defends Himself After Firing Anti-Gay Fire Chief

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired on Tuesday following anti-gay comments published in his book Who Told You That You Were Naked? In it he refers to homosexuality as "unclean," "a sexual perversion," "vulgar" and "inappropriate." Cochran's firing follows his month long suspension in November.

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Cochran's firing at a press conference and Reed defends himself against claims that he was firing Cochran based on his Christian faith. Watch Reed's statement (click the link marked "Post" below if the video doesn't embed.)

 

Reed said, "This is about how we treat one another. And so those folks who are calling me and telling me I should retain him. I just want you to know one thing. His religious decisions are not the basis of the problem. His judgment is the basis of the problem."

For his part, Cochran makes no apologies. USA Today reports:

Still in uniform after the news conference, Cochran told reporters, "I'm not apologetic for writing the book."

He said he will not hide his Christian faith.

"Everything I wrote in the book is based on scriptures, not my opinions," said Cochran.

Cochran said he only learned that he was losing his job about an hour before the news conference.

"LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their belief regarding sexual orientation and deserve to be respected for their position without hate and discrimination, but Christians also have the right to express their beliefs as well," said Cochran.

Reed doesn't list discrimination as the reason for Cochran's termination; he says Cochran violated the City's Code of Conduct by releasing the book.

Thoughts, Instincters?

Comments

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He has served with honor for several years, even being honored for his work and professionalism by the President of the United States. Provide evidence that he has done any of the things that you fear that he MIGHT or COULD do. It shouldn't be that difficult, since he has served in management for the AFD for several years. Go ahead; I'll wait.

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Is there a difference about writing a book about your life as a Christian, or writing a book about how the world looks to you from a Christian perspective, or about how others are leading a Christian life from your perspective, or writing a book about what the bible says about specific social acts considered acceptable in today's society, or a book on how specific social acts affect you as a Christian?

There are many perspectives that a book could have been written.  But the one perspective that cannot be tolerated is a book that passes judgment on another.  Even Jesus told the Jews, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."  Seems strange that a Christian would then judge himself to be sin free, while condemning others to hell. 

Most importantly, this fire chief now holds a public position where he has to help ALL PEOPLE, not just Christians.  If for one moment there is the possibility that he will use his Christian faith to claim that allowing someone to burn in a fire was because HE BELIEVED they were living a life of sin, then the publics trust in him doing his job regardless of prejudice has been undermined.

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For those that think that this cannot happen, you may have forgotten that it has already happened.  There was a physician who found that when transfusing blood it was important to not only match the blood type, but the blood factor as well.  Just after the publication of this miraculous discovery, he was involved in a life threatening accident.  He was rushed to the hospital only to be refused entrance based on the hospitals religious beliefs.  That blacks and whites were separate.  He died.

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I think he is allowed his views but when he refers to gayhood as "unclean," "a sexual perversion," "vulgar" and "inappropriate." it tells me that he will not be able manage staff without those feelings coming thru. I personally do not believe that anyone with that level of prejudice towards one group of people should be in a leadership position much less work in an organization that is supposed to server the public. 

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"Everything I wrote in the book is based on scripture, not my opinions"  Ya right.  That tired excuse has been used for years to defend slavery, black people being inferior to whites, and not allowing mixed races to marry.  How would he like a boss that has direct control of his career writing a book based on that?  50 years ago he wouldn't be a fireman, much less a chief.  The stupidity of people never cease to amaze me.  Firing him for poor judgement seems fair.

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First of all, if we gay people start demanding that everyone who DARE disagree with us BE FIRED, then we have turned into a community of DICKS. WTF? I don't agree with heterosexual sex, does that mean I should lose my job? Wow, our gay community has turned into a big mean bunch of bullies I have no interest in being a part of. Shame on all of you.

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Lol "I don't agree with heterosexual sex".....you wouldn't exist without it

...And your argument is flawed and illogical. I don't think you understand how this whole public servant thing works.

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We're not mean, imagine this was referred to Jews, African Americans, Chinese , women, or any other race or gender he would be cricified, he deserves all the shit he gets

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Sorry when you are a public servant, you must uphold the law for all citizens. He can have his beliefs but sometimes there are repercussions for those beliefs!

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Your statement is moronic. He's not just openly stating his opinion but he's offended people. He called gay people lots of awful names. If I told another physician that Christians are stupid and that I find her sexual Orientation as a heterosexual perverse and vulgar, Id expect to be reprimanded. Stop. Think of the context. Shame on you. Shame on your education and lack of logic. 

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There comes a point where a person in authority should keep his strongly held religious beliefs (of hatred and bigotry) to himself and not impose it on the entire Atlanta Fire Department. Not everyone is going to agree with him. The Mayor had enough and made it clear that it was because of his judgement of the people he is serving that he was fired. Not his religious beliefs. You say you don't like hetero sex but if you were in an authority position and belittled and ostracized everyone who didn't agree with you. I think you might get fired too.

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Of course it is his his opinion - he is trying to play a martyr when all he is an intolerant bigot.  He was handing out his book to his subordinates where he disparage the LGBT community.  If this is the face of the Christian martyr - then the Christians are doomed. 

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