Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), on Tuesday likened the firing of Kelvin Cochran over anti-gay comments to the gun attack on Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed cited “lack of judgment” in firing the city's fire chief.

Cochran described gay people as “unclean” in a self-published book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked that he distributed to co-workers, though the exact number is unknown.

(Related: Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran fired over anti-gay statements.)

According to The GA Voice, as many as 200 people attended a rally Tuesday organized by the Georgia Baptist Convention where speakers called for Cochran's reinstatement.

“Make no mistake about it,” Perkins said. “Last week's violent assault was designed to intimidate and silence others who would dare exercise that fundamental human right of the freedom of speech, but whether a journalist in France satirically writing about religion or a fire chief in Atlanta, Georgia writing about the sacred teachings of his faith, the silencing of either is a threat to the freedoms of all.”

Cochran, who spoke last, told the crowd that Reed's actions sent a message that Atlanta does not welcome people who “believe the Scripture regarding God's purpose for sex.”

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, Reed defended his actions.

“I believe [Cochran's] actions, decisions, and lack of judgment undermined his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce,” Reed wrote. “Every single City of Atlanta employee deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide our employment decisions.”

“His actions and his statements during the investigation and his suspension eroded my confidence in his ability to serve as a member of my senior leadership team,” Reed added.