Atlanta fire chief’s book says ‘unclean’ gay people ‘defile their body-temple and dishonor God’
Atlanta’s fire chief has been suspended for one month without pay for offensive and homophobic comments in his self-published book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?”
“Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God,” writes Kelvin Cochran in the book, which is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Atlanta recently received a perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which measures factors such as non-discrimination laws, city employment policies, and leadership by city officials on LGBT equality.
It’s the only city in the Deep South to score a 100 two years in a row.
Cochran describes himself in the book as a “devout Christian man” whose “greatest desire is to fulfill the purpose of God for his life and to be living proof of God’s exceeding great and precious promises.”
A retired fire department captain who is a lesbian notified GA Voice about the book, which was published without the knowledge of Mayor Kasim Reed’s office.
He was suspended because he violated city rules by not seeking and receiving approval to publish the book, in which he compares homosexuality to bestiality and proclaims that his top priority as head of the fire department was “to cultivate its culture to the glory of God.”
Cindy Thompson, who retired from the fire department after 30 years and learned about the book from former colleagues, said she voluntarily accepted a demotion because she got “bad vibes” while working with Cochran.
“I just didn’t get a good feeling from him,” Thompson said. “Now I see this book and know I was right all along.”
She said that Cochran implied the fire department endorsed his views by identifying himself in the book by his position.
Cochran has served as chief of the Atlanta Fire Department since 2008, with a two-year stint starting in 2009 as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration following an appointment by President Barack Obama.
He has been a firefighter since 1981.
The mayor suspended Cochran for one month without pay and ordered him to attend sensitivity training and prohibited him from distributing the book on city property.
Civil rights activists are concerned the punishment is too lenient.
“His views towards the LGBT community are shameful,” said Glen Paul Freedman, chair of Georgia Equality’s board of directors. “He will be back in charge, and I am sure telling his staff anti-LGBT stuff. I wonder how many LGBT AFD staff were not promoted or held back because of his views and telling his staff his views. The mayor should fire him.”
Watch this video report posted online by WSB-TV: