Atlanta Hub




Fox News Erick Erickson Calls LGBT Community 'Terrorists,' In Firing Of Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 2.30.51 PM

Fox News contributor and radio talk show host Erick Erickson boldly declared "the terrorists won in Atlanta," just hours after Paris' horrific terrorist attack, blaming the LGBT community for the firing of Atlanta's anti-gay Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran reports Media Matters For America

Right-wing media falsely claimed that Cochran was fired because of his religious beliefs and anti-gay remarks in a book he wrote. On Jan. 6, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed debunked those claims and said that Cochran was fired because the chief displayed a lack of judgment in distributing the book to his employees, and disregarded instructions regarding his month-long suspension over publishing the book without notice to the city is what led to his termination.

On Jan. 7, just hours after the horrific attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 people dead, Erickson wrote an opportunistic blog post likening the LGBT community to terrorists for objecting to the former fire chief's book stating, "The terrorists won." 

An excerpt from Erickson's post reads:

"A publisher published something that offended. It mocked, it offended, and it showed the fallacy of a religion. It angered.

"So the terrorists decided they needed to publicly destroy and ruin the publisher in a way that would not only make that destruction a public spectacle, but do it so spectacularly that others would think twice before publishing or saying anything similar.

"The terrorist wants to sow fear. The destruction of an individual is not just meant to be a tool of vengeance, but a tool of instruction. It shows others what will happen to them if they dare do the same. It is generates self-regulating peer pressure. Others, fearing the fall out, will being to self-police and self-regulate. They will silence others on behalf of the terrorists. Out of fear, they will drive the ideas from the public square and society will make them off limits.

[...]

"So they demanded the Mayor of Atlanta fire the Chief of the Fire Department for daring to write that his first duty was to "glory God" and that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage was a sin.

"And the terrorists won in Atlanta."


Police Search For Clues After Gay Man Is Mysteriously Beaten To Death In Northwest Georgia: VIDEO

Paul

After a 2-mile walk, Paul Guerrant was just a few hundred yards from home on the evening of Dec. 22 — a cold, rainy night in Dalton, Georgia. 

Guerrant, 43, had been talking to a friend from out of state on his cell phone as he walked alone across the Northwest Georgia town, 90 miles north of Atlanta near Chattanooga, Tenn. 

At 9:28 p.m., the call ended, cell phone records indicate. Nine minutes later, a passerby called 911 to report Guerrant lying in the street unresponsive. Guerrant was rushed to a hospital, where he died from blunt force trauma to the head, having been struck multiple times with a hammer-like object.  

DaltonNow, police are offering a $10,000 reward as they search for clues about what happened during those nine minutes, in a case that has some telltale signs of an anti-gay hate crime. 

Project Q Atlanta reports: 

The severity of the attack indicates that Guerrant knew his killer, Dalton police spokesperson Bruce Frazier told Project Q Atlanta on Tuesday.

"When you see this kind of violence, typically the attacker and the victim know each other," Frazier says. "That level of violence can occur in a random encounter but it is much more likely that it is somebody that knew the victim and that there was a personal motivation behind it. We don't know that for sure, but that is the assumption you would make from this level of attack."

Frazier says detectives have ruled out any of Guerrant's known associates such as friends or ex-boyfriends as suspects in the homicide. But whether Guerrant's sexual orientation was a factor in his murder isn't clear, he says.

"Whether the victim being gay is motivation for the attack, we really don't know the answer to that. At this point, we have not identified a suspect or motive for the attack. It's possible but it's not something that we're ready to identify as the reason for the attack," Frazier says.

According to The Times Free Press of Chattanooga, Guerrant had struggled with alcoholism and homelessness, but had recently celebrated 17 years of sobriety and been baptized in a local church.

Guerrant's Facebook page shows signs of a recent relapse, as well as intense anger about an ex-boyfriend's plans to marry another man. But on the night of his murder, Gerrant was walking home from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. 

From The Times Free Press

Guerrant, 43, had grown up in Dalton but left some time after graduating high school in 1991, longtime family friend Sally Higgins said. She said he recently returned to Dalton but wasn't in contact with local family members.

"He was trying to get on the right path," Higgins said. "He'd made big strides over the past year." ... 

At Rock Bridge Community Church, Guerrant had grown involved in several small group ministries, the pastor said. And he served on a technology team to help with the church's productions. Turley remembers him always being full of joy and enthusiasm.

"We were excited about the journey he was taking with God," Turley said. "This has just been a terrible tragedy for us as a church. We're heartbroken. We would love to see justice. But we're also very grateful to have been a part of a process in his life to where now we know where he is. For that part we're relieved."

Anyone with information about Guerrant's murder is asked to contact Detective Brian Shirley at 706-278-9085, dial 9 and then enter extension 189.

Watch WRCB-TV's report on Guerrant's murder, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Police Search For Clues After Gay Man Is Mysteriously Beaten To Death In Northwest Georgia: VIDEO" »


Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Is Fired By Mayor: VIDEO

Mayor

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran (pictured below right) was fired today by the city's mayor, Kasim Reed (pictured above), on the day Cochran was scheduled to return to work after a 30 day suspension for making derogatory remarks about LGBT people in a self-published book he wrote titled, "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" In it, Cochran labels homosexuality a "sexual perversion" and compares homosexuality to bestiality and pederasty. GA Voice reports that Mayor Reed held a press conference today at City Hall to make the announcement. Reed gave Cochran the option to resign but terminated him after he refused to do so:

6a00d8341c730253ef01bb07b47080970d-800wi“His personal religious beliefs are not the issue at all despite the number of comments and emails I have been receiving on a daily basis,” Reed said at a packed press conference. “His judgment and ability to manage the department was the subject of this inquiry.” Reed named Deputy Chief Joel C. Baker as the interim fire chief.

Cochran published his book in violation of the city’s standard of conduct, Reed stressed, and he said every single employee in the fire department deserves to come to work in an environment where they feel safe in keeping with the city’s policy on nondiscrimination.

“His actions around the book, his statements during the investigation, eroded my confidence in conveying that message,” Reed said.

Reed added that he believed the city faced serious liability if Cochran remained on the payroll.

“If you work in an organization, you check in with person signs your check. And that didn’t happen here. And after that happened there was no contrition about it,” Reed said. Cochran spoke publicly about his suspension at religious events during his suspension, drawing the ire of the mayor.

Watch video of the press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Is Fired By Mayor: VIDEO" »


Atlanta Police Department Refuses To Adequately Investigate Anti-Gay Hate Crime Caught On Video

Atlanta

More than five years after the Atlanta Eagle raid, the Atlanta Police Department continues to fall short when it comes to protecting and serving the city's LGBT community. 

According to a report from the Georgia Voice, the department has refused to adequately investigate a recent anti-gay hate crime, which police have been unable to solve despite ample evidence including video of the suspect and the identity of his accomplice. 

A gay couple was walking down a midtown Atlanta street holding hands in March when a motorist began honking his horn at them. The passenger then jumped out of the vehicle and yelled a homophobic slur before attacking the couple. The suspect punched one of the victims in the head and shoved him into the street, where another motorist had to swerve to avoid hitting him. The suspect then got back into the vehicle, and the driver sped off. 

The entire attack was captured on surveillance video (screen grab above), and the victims obtained video of the suspect as well as the license plate number of the vehicle. However, the driver of the vehicle reportedly told police he didn't know his passenger, and detectives haven't bothered to obtain the driver's cell phone records — or, for that matter, to publicize the crime in any way until the Georgia Voice began looking into the matter in December.  

The Voice reports that the couple has requested anonymity and the story identifies the victim's boyfriend as "the witness":

“We were told they [police] talked to the guy and they said he doesn’t know the passenger, and that he picked the guy up on one block and dropped him off on another,” the witness says. “It’s crazy to me saying, ‘I don’t know the passenger in my car who beat up that guy.’ It’s just crazy, I don’t believe it.”

The couple asked the APD investigator to subpoena the driver’s phone records.

“There has to be a record of the passenger on there,” the witness says. “They said that was the end of it and they couldn’t do anything else. They weren’t able to get a subpoena." ... 

“I was disappointed that the investigation ended with one conversation and that’s the best they can do. I think they can do better than that, and I would encourage them to do better than that,” the witness says. “I’m not laying a lot of blame on the police department but I’m also not giving them any awards.”

The witness is being generous here. If this had been a black couple and the suspect yelled the N-word, there would undoubtedly be protests in response to the police department's apparent indifference. 

The Georgia Voice's story also reveals that APD hasn't been following its Standard Operating Procedures that require the department to report anti-gay hate crimes to the LGBT liaison unit. Only half of the 12 anti-gay hate crimes in 2014 were properly reported to the LGBT liaison unit. 

The APD's raid of the Atlanta Eagle in 2009 led to a $1 million settlement with patrons, the firing of six officers and various LGBT-related reforms in the department. But apparently there's still work to do. 

Watch surveillance video of the attack, as well as video of the suspect getting back in the vehicle, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading " Atlanta Police Department Refuses To Adequately Investigate Anti-Gay Hate Crime Caught On Video" »


Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Suspended For Anti-Gay Religious Tract

FEMA_-_41848_-_Kelvin_Cochran,_Administrator_for_the_Federal_Emergency_Management_Agency_US_Fire_Administration

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended from his position for one month for writing a religious book in which he describes homosexuality as a “sexual perversion,” reports AJC.com.

In the self-published book “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” (yours for only $13.18!), Cochran argues that homosexuality is akin to bestiality and pederasty. Kelvin Cochran Who Told You That You Are Naked?

Arguing that “men who carry the curse of condemnation and deprivation cannot fulfill their purpose as husbands, fathers, community and business leaders,” the book includes passages such as the following:

• “Uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”

• “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s spokesperson Anne Torres said the administration didn’t know about the book until employees came forward with complaints last week.  Reed wrote on Facebook that he was “deeply disturbed” by the book book and will “not tolerate discrimination of any kind” in his administration.

Cochran has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training and has been barred from distributing copies of the book on city property.

Additionally, Reed’s office has now opened an investigation to determine whether Cochran has violated city policies or discriminated against employees.


Wiki Loves Pride Edit-A-Thons Improve LGBT Content On Wikipedia

Wikimedia lgbt

Last month, Wikipedia launched a series of Wiki Loves Pride edit-a-thons to improve LGBT-related content on various Wikimedia projects.

The edit-a-thons aim to increase “the number of people and perspectives contributing to LGBT information on the site, as well as encouraging institutions to add their authority information, research and images to the public domain.”

Edit-a-thons have already taken place in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.  Future edit-a-thons are planned for Atlanta and Houston and for Bangalore and Delhi, India.


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged