Kelvin Cochran Atlanta Fire Chief alleged he was let go due to his Christian beliefs and that his First Amendment rights were breached. However, the City of Atlanta and Mayor Kasim Reed hold firm that Fire Chief Cochran “was fired because he did not comply with the City’s pre-clearance rules for outside employment and for facilitating a massive public relations campaign against the Mayor and the City.”
The Chief shared his ordeal in the preparation of his News Conference with the following, “In my life I have experienced firsthand the negative attitudes, racial slurs, and discrimination because of the colour of my skin.” He is the creator of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Doctrine in a bid to create a just and peaceful work environment for all.
Chief Cochran has a passion to help empower people and this is how this whole issue of his firing started. He wrote the book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” in an effort aid Christian men become better husbands and fathers. Chief Cochran’s Content within the book though in alignment with the Scriptures in regard to homosexuality offended the LGBT community, leading to the “unspecified city policy violations” and suspension without pay.
ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot addressed concerns about city officials having the power to grant permission for its employees to seek publication of their private beliefs. “This ruling benefits not only Chief Cochran, but also other employees who want to write books or speak about matters unrelated to work. Atlanta can no longer force them to get permission or deny them permission just because certain officials disagree with the views expressed.”
Many others have also defended Chief Cochran including Faith and Freedom Coalition spokesperson Robert Potts who said, “In our country we don’t punish people for the potential to discriminate we punish them for actually discriminating. To our knowledge unless the mayor knows about it and hasn’t said so there’s no allegation to speak of.” The organisation exists to defend what they believe to be great American virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least amount us.
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