Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed last week
fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for self-publishing a book that
describes gays as “unclean.”
The termination comes after Reed
suspended Cochran for 30 days without pay.
“This is about judgment,” Reed told
reporters. “This is not about religious freedom. This is not
about free speech. Judgment is the basis of the problem.”
Reed said that the chief did not
properly consult city officials before publishing his book, a claim
that Cochran denies. The mayor also said that Cochran had opened
Atlanta to possible discrimination lawsuits.
In a statement released through the
Alliance Defending Freedom, Cochran insisted that he had been
terminated because of his religion.
“I am heartbroken that I will no
longer be able to serve the city and the people I love as fire chief,
for no reason other than my Christian faith,” he said. “It's
ironic that the city points to tolerance and inclusion as part of its
reasoning. What could be more intolerant and exclusionary than
ending a public servant's 30 years of distinguished service for his
The book, titled Who
Told You That You Were Naked, is being sold at Amazon.com and
BarnesAndNoble.com. In one passage, Cochran describes being gay as a
“perversion.”: “Uncleanness – whatever is opposite of purity;
including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality,
all other forms of sexual perversion.”
“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,” he writes elsewhere in the book.