A fire chief who distributed a homophobic book likening homosexuality to beastiality has lost a lawsuit appealing his dismissal.

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired by the city in 2015 after distributing the book, Who Told You That You Were Naked? to his staff.



The book states: “Uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.

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“Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfilment 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 dishonour God.”

Following the distribution of the book, Cochran was suspended for a month without pay and ultimately fired from his post in 2015.

The firing caused uproar amongst local religious groups who claimed that his religious freedom had been violated.

Conservative radio host Erik Erikson compared the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris with the sacking of the fire chief.

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The Fox News contributor said on his podcast: “We gotta talk about what happened in France, but I think it is worth pointing out that one group destroys the livelihoods of those who dare to mock or dissent, and the other took their lives, but both are doing it to drive debate from the public sphere, to shut them up, to shut them down.”

Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed, said that he was “deeply disturbed” by the self-published book and he would not “tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration”.

Councilman Alex Wan said: “Mr. Cochran‘s actions made it a difficult work environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees within the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. This sends a strong message to employees about how much we value diversity and how we adhere to a non-discriminatory environment.”

The dismissal sparked Cochran to file a lawsuit against Atlanta to challenge the decision to fire him.

However, Judge Leigh Martin May has ruled against Cochran’s lawsuit stating that his claims of freedom of speech, association and religion were not just opposition to his termination.

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She wrote in her decision: “Although plaintiff contends that the book was addressed to Christian men, the book was disseminated by a supervisor at the workplace — as opposed to completely off campus — and was even distributed unsolicited to at least three individuals.

“At least one such employee felt the subject matter of the book was sufficiently concerning such that he gave the book to the union president, and the union president then disseminated it more broadly to city officials.”

The judge concluded that because Cochran “exposed the City to hostile work environment liability” then there was a sufficient reason for him to be fired.




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