The leader of a statewide LGBT equality group says Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran should be fired over anti-gay passages in a book he wrote.
Mayor Kasim Reed suspended Cochran on Monday and ordered him to attend sensitivity training when the religious book and its anti-gay passages – which call homosexuality “the opposite of clean,” compare it to bestiality and sexual perversion, and say it dishonors God – became public in widespread media reports. The month-long, unpaid suspension cost Cochran (photo), who is paid $172,000 per year, about $14,333. Reed also rebuked Cochran and the book’s homophobic passages.
But Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, says Cochran should be fired.
“It appears that his language is so extreme, so belittling of gay and transgender people that I don’t see how he could possible lead a diverse workforce,” said Graham.
Graham says Cochran’s beliefs create a “chilling effect” for anyone that has to work with him.
“I think he needs to be held accountable for his words and that frankly the only course of action at this point and time is his immediate and permanent dismissal,” said Graham.
A Reed spokesperson tells WABE that it’s too soon to know if additional disciplinary action will be taken. The mayor is awaiting the results of a city investigation launched in the wake of Cochran’s book going public on Monday.