ICC Note: On January 6th, it was announced that Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran had been fired on the same day that he returned to work from a 30-day suspension. This termination was caused by a short passage referencing his views on homosexuality that Cochran wrote in the book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” Mayor Kasim Reed publicly condemned Cochran on his official Facebook page and suspended Cochran without pay. Cochran is considering taking legal actions, but has no desire to return to his position as fire chief.
By Todd Starnes
01/07/2015 United States (Fox News) – Kelvin Cochran was five-years-old when he realized that he wanted to be a firefighter.
“My family was very, very poor,” Cochran told me. “We were living in a shotgun house in an alley – three big brothers, two little sisters.”
One Sunday afternoon the Cochran children heard a fire truck stop across from their neighbor’s home. Miss Maddie’s house was one fire.
“That’s the day that God convicted me in my heart that I wanted to be a firefighter when I grew up,” Cochran said. “All I thought about growing up in Shreveport was not being poor and being a firefighter.”
And God granted Kelvin Cochran the desires of his heart. The little boy in the shotgun shack grew up to become the fire chief of Shreveport. He was named the Atlanta fire chief in 2008 – a position he served until 2009 when was called to serve in the Obama Administration as a fire administrator. In 2010 he returned to Atlanta where he was unanimously confirmed to once again be the city’s fire chief.
But now Chief Cochran’s storied career is up in smoke – all because of a book he wrote for a men’s Bible study group at his Baptist church.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that Cochran had been fired. The announcement came on the same day Cochran was supposed to return to work following a 30-day suspension.
“The LGBT members of our community have a right to be able to express their views and convictions about sexuality and deserve to be respected for their position without hate or discrimination,” Cochran told me in an exclusive interview. “But Christians also have a right to express our belief regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and without discrimination. In the United States, no one should be vilified, hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs.”