Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Taking it Over the Hump

ATL Fire Chief Is Extinguished

They say that  Atlanta is more commonly known as "hot lanta," and by all accounts it seems that a recent firestorm created by Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran got a quick dose of "oh no you don't," from
Mayor Kasim Reed, who wasn't having none of it.

All of this was the result of a book titled, "Who Told You Were Naked," penned by the chief and circulated to assorted fire department staff.

Once Mayor Reed got wind of this smoking piece of his religious beliefs which also included virulent anti-gay views, he was fired on Jan. 6 by Atlanta’s mayor, Kasim Reed, for homophobic language in the book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” Among other things, he called homosexuality a “perversion,” compared it to bestiality and pedophilia, and said homosexual acts are “vile, vulgar and inappropriate.” However, this didn't set well with the religious right who were cued up to demonstrate their "freedom of expression" outrage at his administrative corrective action.

Yet what was at stake here was Cochran's reckless disregard for his public position and what Reed pointed out as, "about “making sure that we have an environment in government where everyone, no matter who they love, can come to work from 8 to 5:30 and do their job and then go home without fear of being discriminated against.” Amen to that position as many studies show that LGBTQ individuals face an array of employment challenges and barriers. Just to show how Mayor Reed wanted to get ahead of the religious right "you are going to hell, too," machine. He offered this statement on his Facebook page as follows:

Last week, I made the decision to terminate our Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran. It was a decision that was not made lightly because I appreciated Chief Cochran’s service to the City of Atlanta. While you may have read articles that asserted the issue at hand was Chief Cochran’s religious beliefs, I can assure you that those comments could not be further from the truth.

The truth is that I am a man of deep faith myself, and we are a city of laws. Chief Cochran’s book, “Who Told ...You You Were Naked,” was published in violation of the city’s Standards of Conduct, which required prior approval from the Board of Ethics. I believe his actions, decisions, and lack of judgment undermined his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse workforce. Every single City of Atlanta employee deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide our employment decisions. His actions and his statements during the investigation and his suspension eroded my confidence in his ability to serve as a member of my senior leadership team.

Please take a moment to read this editorial that was published in today’s New York Times.
Thank you for all of your kind offers of support. Please take a moment to remind everyone you know that the City of Atlanta is a city too busy to hate.

Twitter Yanks Westboro Baptist Church's Account

The hostile, homophobic church has lost its original Twitter account.

BY Michelle Garcia

Twitter has suspended the main account of the radically anti-LGBT hate group the Westboro Baptist Church as well as that of its leader, Shirley Phelps-Roeper.
U.K.-based Pink News noticed the account was pulled as of Tuesday and announced it on Twitter that day. Phelps-Roeper, from a new account, claimed it was because the WBC picketed Twitter in August.

Twitter has not responded to The Advocate's request for comment or to verify Phelps-Roeper's claim.
Late last year the social media giant improved its guidelines for reporting abuse and harassment among users, after high-profile threats and harassment campaigns like Gamergate, which targeted many people, particularly women, voicing challenges to a misogynist gaming community. Previously, Twitter had been criticized for not stepping in to stop harassment, and the former system for reporting harassment was not viewed as consistently effective. (source: Advocate)

Save the DATE!!
 March 10, 2015
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