- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been fired for authoring a Christian book in 2013 that described homosexuality as a “sexual perversion.”

Mr. Cochran had just returned to work Tuesday at the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department following a monthlong suspension for comments in his book, “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In the book, Mr. Cochran identifies himself as Atlanta’s fire chief and says it’s his first priority within the department “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.” He was accused of distributing copies of the book at work, prompting an investigation into potential discrimination within the fire department. The findings of that investigation have not yet been released, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in November that such writings were inconsistent with the city’s employment policies. He announced on Tuesday that the city would be separating from Mr. Cochran.

City Councilman Alex Wan said in a statement that he supports the administration’s decision.

“[Mr. Cochran’s] actions made it a difficult work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees within the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department,” he said Tuesday. “This sends a strong message to employees about how much we value diversity and how we adhere to a non-discriminatory environment.”

Religious groups, including the Faith and Freedom Coalition and the Georgia Baptist Convention, have rallied around Mr. Cochran to decry what they believe is an impingement on religious freedom, the Journal-Constitution reported.

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