Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:
…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.
Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.
Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.
On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him….
By Kelsey Harkness – The Daily Signal –
Kelvin Cochran, chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, was suspended in November after he wrote a short book, a portion of which conveys the biblical view of homosexuality. He gave copies of the book, Who Told You That You Were Naked? (published in November 2013), to a few co-workers he knew to be strong Christians – but three city employees also received a copy without asking for one.
Mayor Kasim Reed now has fired Cochran after suspending him for a month without pay, saying “his actions and decision-making undermine his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse work force.” Cochran, a firefighter for more than three decades, otherwise had no blemish on his record.
Gary Cass of DefendChristians.org responds to news of Cochran’s firing and Mayor Reed’s remarks.
“It appears that simply upholding a traditional Christian view of morality automatically makes you unfit for any kind of leadership in this morally upside down world of political correctness,” Cass tells OneNewsNow. “It seems that Chief Cochran is being fired not for his actions, but simply for holding a biblical worldview.”
The mayor has stated publicly that Cochran’s “personal religious beliefs are not the issue,” but that the city’s nondiscrimination policy is “nonnegotiable.”
Cochran is a strong Southern Baptist – and Cass points out that Mayor Reed is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta.
Cass, Dr. Gary (DefendChristians.org)”So here’s somebody [Reed] who ostensibly identifies as a Christian, who thinks he can be fair in the way that he conducts his business but apparently [thinks] Chief Cochran can’t be fair,” Cass surmises. “So it’s an interesting confluence of hypocrisy and double standards all at the same time.”
By Charlie Butts – One News Now –