ATLANTA (BP) — Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been terminated following a city investigation into a book he wrote that calls homosexual behavior immoral. But Cochran said the investigation, which has not been released to the public, produced no evidence of wrongdoing.
Allegations of discrimination against homosexuals were “completely unfounded,” Cochran said Jan. 6. “The investigation shows that there is no evidence. Under no circumstances have I been discriminatory or hateful towards any member of the department in the LGBT community or a member of the LGBT community at large.”
Cochran is a deacon, Sunday School teacher and Bible study leader at Atlanta’s Elizabeth Baptist Church, a cooperating church with the Georgia Baptist Convention. A two-time Atlanta fire chief, Cochran also served as U.S. Fire Administrator under President Obama from 2009-10.
Cochran’s 162-page self-published book, “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” seeks to help Christian men overcome feelings of guilt and condemnation over past sins. It discusses homosexuality for less than half a page, including a mention of uncleanness as the “opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion.”
Cochran told Fox News that someone within the fire department obtained a copy of the book and gave it to openly-gay city council member Alex Wan. LGBT activists responded to the book by calling for Cochran to be fired.
Mayor Kasim Reed said Jan. 6 that Cochran’s failure to obtain proper city permission to publish the book and his refusal to remain silent about the matter during the city’s investigation contributed to the firing.
In November Cochran was suspended without pay for a month and ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
Though Cochran spoke to religious groups about his suspension, he said he obeyed the city’s specific instruction not to speak with the media, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.