A former fire chief in Atlanta faced disciplinary action last Fall after distributing a book he self-published that called homosexuality and "lesbianism" a "sexual perversion" and morally equivalent to "bestiality," according to the Washington Post.
Now, he is suing the city and Mayor Kasim Reed.
Representing ex-fire chief Kelvin Cochran are attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom who announced the federal lawsuit on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Cochran claims that he was fired because of his religious beliefs and his right to express them, and wishes to gain lost wages as well as payment for emotional distress.
Reed has received letters criticizing him for the ex-fire chief's termination from six Republican members of Georgia's congressional delegation. They are also calling for Cochran to get his job back.
Cochran was officially suspended and fired in January due to the fact that he distributed the book to his fellow co-workers. Reed has said that he was fired for violating employee protocol and publishing the book without authorization.
Anne Torres, a city spokeswoman, commented on the matter.
"We understand that he was distributing the book to other employees. We are still not sure what the circumstances surrounding them are," she said. "The bottom line is that the Reed administration does not tolerate discrimination of any kind."
Cochran's book contained several passages illustrating his beliefs on homosexuality with one passage reading, "Uncleanness -- whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and other forms of sexual perversion."