Ousted Atlanta fire chief at center of religious liberty fight goes to court

  • Source: wsb radio
  • Published: 10/15/2015 12:00 AM

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who described homosexuality as a perversion akin to bestiality in a book he authored two years ago, is entitled to his religious beliefs, attorneys for Cochran and the City of Atlanta agreed Wednesday. But his faith isn’t the reason he was fired last January, Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration argued in a federal court hearing over his dismissal. Cochran was ousted following a month-long suspension and investigation into his Christian guide for men, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” The 162-page book, which Cochran distributed to some members of the fire department, caused an outcry because of a passage in which he described both homosexuality and bestiality as “unclean” acts. Cochran — who quickly became the focus of a national fight over religious liberty — believes he was fired because of his faith and filed a federal lawsuit. But Atlanta attorneys argued his personal views were irrelevant until he brought them into the workplace. Once he did, they said, it became an employment matter because Cochran broke city protocols. “This book was published a year before it came to the attention of the city. Nothing happened to him until he brought the book into the workplace,” Atlanta attorney Robert Godfrey argued before U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May.


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