January 8, 2015 at 8:00 am EST | by Staff reports
Atlanta mayor fires anti-gay official
Kelvin Cochran, gay news, Washington Blade

Kelvin Cochran (Photo public domain)

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.

  • People need to get past the idea that having freedom of religion allows them to spew out anything they choose at any time and in any place and still feel that they are somehow immune from any possible consequences. Freedom of speech does not allow you to yell out "fire" in a crowded auditorium. The same is true for freedom of religion. All freedoms have limitations and include responsibilities. "My religion made me say/do it " does not give you a free pass, even in this freeist of societies.

  • Wow. So, Christians aren't allowed to work in certain jobs? This is overt discrimination and anti-Christian bigotry.

  • Brilliant. So, one should indeed fear for his job if he holds and (dare he?) expresses an ideology in conflict with that of those in power? What empty-headed special pleading for the anti-Christian far left. By your understanding of our 'freedom of religion,' one is only protected if his views are never expressed publicly. But, religion is a public practice. Surely Christianity is necessarily public. Since, then, Christianity is a message based and necessarily public religion, and since scripture clearly condemns homosexuality, one cannot be a practicing Christian in this "freeist of societies"–any Christian becomes a second class citizen, stripped of his right to practice his religion. What's most astonishing about this controversy is how oblivious anti-Christian liberals (who supposedly fight for personal freedom) are to the contradiction. It seems that the Christian- haters are much more concerned with suppressing the dissenting opinion rather than protecting freedoms and establishing equality.

  • Apparently you're not big on reading comprehension. This was NOT about religion.

  • Charles Gaston How did you come to that bewildering conclusion? This man is sacked for expressing a theological position on homosexuality framed within the context of a theological publication…but its "not about religion?"

  • Congratulations Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta you sir did the right thing. I totaly agree with the Mayor. We need more people like you in office. It had nothing to do with religion but every way he treats his coworkers by insaulting to them and rude. What does homosexuality have to do with bestiality and defieing their body-temble and dishonoring god? I know all of this first hand. I am gay and a retired Unite Here (union) Shop Stewart.

    Gene Blossom

  • Matt Kellon Robinson. Does defending people that are useing their position to control insult and dehumanize workers under him make you a bigot?

    Gene Blossom

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