ATLANTA — Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that he had fired the chief of the city’s Fire Rescue Department, Kelvin Cochran, after Mr. Cochran gave workers a religious book he wrote containing passages that condemn homosexuality.
Mr. Reed had suspended Mr. Cochran for a month without pay in November, opening an investigation into whether Mr. Cochran’s authorship and distribution of the book to workers violated the city’s nondiscrimination policies. That move sparked a debate about religious liberty and freedom of expression: Last month, the 1.4-million member Georgia Baptist Convention began an online petition that called for Mr. Cochran’s reinstatement and suggested his First Amendment rights had been violated.
The matter also presents a challenge for Mr. Reed, a second-term Democrat who presides over a metropolis whose social mosaic is defined by strong expressions of Christianity and large and politically powerful gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual groups.
Homosexual Agenda strikes again