ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Jan. 6 announced he fired his city’s fire chief after a series of anti-gay comments appeared in a book that he wrote.
The Georgia Voice reported Reed announced Kelvin Cochran’s termination during a press conference.
Reed in late November suspended Cochran from his post after excerpts of his book became public. They included comparing homosexuality to bestiality and concluding people who engage in same-sex sexual conduct “defile their body-temple and dishonor God.”
The Georgia Voice reported that Reed said he fired Cochran because he violated what the newspaper described as the “city’s standard of conduct.” The mayor insisted the decision has nothing to do with Cochran’s religious beliefs in spite of his claims to the contrary.
“His personal religious beliefs are not the issue at all despite the number of comments and emails I have been receiving on a daily basis,” said Reed, according to the Georgia Voice. “His judgment and ability to manage the department was the subject of this inquiry.”
Georgia Equality Executive Jeff Graham and gay Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan are among those who welcomed Cochran’s termination. Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition who founded the Faith and Freedom Coalition criticized Reed over his decision.