The former fire chief of Atlanta who has argued over the last few years that he was fired for his Christian faith and beliefs got some good news yesterday.
On Monday the city of Atlanta agreed to pay Kelvin Cochran $1.2 million in the wake of a federal district court ruling in December 2017 that found some of the city's policies that led to his termination are unconstitutional.
"To actually lose my childhood dream come true – [my] profession, where all of my expectations have been greatly exceeded – over my faith, the very faith that caused me to get my job, ultimately has cost me my job," Cochran says.
Cochran argues he was fired for his Christian faith and beliefs. The case began in 2014 after Cochran self-published a men's devotional book he had written on his personal time. While the book does mention biblical sexual morality, attorney Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom points out it was only a brief mention in the 162-page book.
"Government officials can't force employees to get permission before engaging in free speech," says the attorney. "As the court found, the city can't leave such decisions to the whims of government officials."
The court determined last year that Atlanta's rules restricting non-work speech for Christian men that Cochran wrote were too broad and allowed city officials to unconstitutionally discriminate against views with which they disagree.
"All Americans are guaranteed the freedom of actually believing and thinking in such a way that does not cost them the consequences that I've experienced in this termination," adds Cochran.