Rally held in support of former Atlanta fire chief

Posted by Decaturish.com January 14, 2015
Fire Chief Kelvin J. Cochran. Source: Atlantaga.gov

Fire Chief Kelvin J. Cochran. Source: Atlantaga.gov

Atlanta’s former fire chief drew the ire of the LGBT community and found himself unemployed after publishing a book calling homosexuality a perversion.

But it hasn’t been a total loss for Kelvin Cochran. He’s found some new friends who say he is being unfairly punished for expressing his religious views.

Cochran was the star of a rally at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 13, featuring Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Dr. Alveda King. The event included Cochran quoting scripture, leading the Pledge of Allegiance and reading Preamble to the Constitution.

“Freedom of religion and freedom of speech is under attack” here and around the country, Cochran said, according to Atlanta INtown.

The book in question was “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” The book calls homosexuality a “sexual perversion,” comparable to bestiality. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired Cochran last week after he finished a 30 day suspension. Reed said Cochran’s book and conduct during his suspension left him with little choice.

Cochran disagreed.

“My termination is unjust,” he at the rally. “After 34 years of dedicated service, seven of which was committed to Atlanta, I cannot believe that my termination came because of the public expression of my faith.”

He said that while he believes marriage should be between people of opposite genders, he said Christianity teaches a love for all mankind, regardless of their beliefs.

“I believe that every person possesses the image of the creator and has inherent dignity and worth,” he said.

The rally concluded with a march on Atlanta City Hall with a petition in-hand. It has 40,000 signatures asking for Reed to reverse his decision and apologize to Cochran.

The mayor’s office says that’s not going to happen.

After the rally, the city released its investigation into the matter. It showed that Cochran didn’t receive permission to publish his book under the city’s code and gave copies to nine of his employees while he was on the job. Firefighters felt the book was inappropriate, the report says. To read it, click here.

Reed’s decision to terminate Cochran won praise from the editorial board of the New York Times.

The NYT editorial board wrote, “Imagine that Mr. Cochran, who is black, were an adherent of a religion that avowed the inferiority of white people, and that he distributed literature to that effect. He would not have lasted another day in a job that requires him to manage and protect the well-being of a large and diverse work force.”

To read the editorial, click here.

This story was provided courtesy of Atlanta INtown.

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  • Jason Farrer

    Alveda has built a platform on something that has little to do with her she has tried to hijack the legacy of the king children….because shes his niece….ok?

    Alveda has used the King name to promote her religion at the expense of Civil Rights and in pride refused to admit that she has betrayed the message of Dr Martin Luther King. She has shown her ignorance and bigotry while shaming the king family name by fighting against the civil rights of Gay Americans. She has shown her bias and hypocrisy by acting as if she is an authority on marriage though divorced and in her comments discounting the words of Coretta Scott King and insinuating that she was more of an authority just because “I have his blood running through my veins” what a dumb twit!

    An expert on marriage would not quickly dismiss someones NEXT OF KIN and promote themselves as more important!

    Alveda should be ashamed of her self! She is an impostor who has been at odds with major civil rights organizations, Civil rights leaders, and the King family. Usually these issues have been over her need to project her personal religious beliefs into civil law, and her stubborn refusal to acknowledge that her religion is not an excuse to discriminate. She has allowed the civil rights movement to take backseat to a movement she claims to be a leader in while disenfranchising those who currently strugle for civil rights. Most telling is the arguments she has had with the King family over the rights to MLKs image and words. $$$.

    Alveda needs to go find a job she can be good at (maybe a tollbooth attendant) and leave civil rights to those who actually believe in equality and fairness. She is a stain on the Movement and King family name and a distraction from the good work being done by those who truly care!

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