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A court has decided that the Atlanta fire chief who argues he was fired for his Christian convictions can now take his case to trial.
Late last year, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed suspended Chief Kelvin Cochran and ordered him to complete "sensitivity training" after homosexual activists complained about a booklet Cochran wrote on biblical sexual morality which briefly mentions homosexuality as one of many sins.
The mayor eventually fired Cochran – a step that the city's only openly homosexual council member said at the time "sends a strong message to employees about how much we value diversity and how we adhere to a non-discriminatory environment." (See earlier story)
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kevin Theriot tells OneNewsNow a federal court in Atlanta ruled on Wednesday that the lawsuit filed by ADF on behalf of Cochran can now proceed to trial.
"A religious or ideological test can't be used to fire a public servant, but the city did exactly that in this case," says the attorney. "The evidence and the facts of this case clearly demonstrate that Chief Cochran was fired for his religious convictions."
Theriot says the city's actions against Cochran "place [in jeopardy] every city employee ... who may hold to a belief that city officials don't like."
While the court agreed to dismiss some claims, the lawsuit will proceed on Cochran's primary allegations of retaliation; discrimination based on his viewpoint; violation of the constitutional freedoms of religion and association; and due process, meaning termination without following prescribed procedure.
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