New re­port doc­u­ments ris­ing anti-trans­gen­der vi­o­lence

GA Voice - - Front Page -

It’s now a wait­ing game in the case of for­mer At­lanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired nearly three years ago af­ter dis­tribut­ing a self-pub­lished anti-LGBT book at work. Le­gal teams for both Cochran and the city met in court on Nov. 17 and now await a fed­eral judge’s rul­ing.

Cochran al­leges the city dis­crim­i­nated against him be­cause of his re­li­gious be­liefs. How­ever, the city says Cochran’s “de­fen­sive pub­lic re­la­tions cam­paign, which in­cluded a Ge­or­gia Bap­tist Con­ven­tion call to ac­tion as the city was con­duct­ing its re­view of the book,” led to his ter­mi­na­tion, ac­cord­ing to WABE.

Dis­trict Judge Leigh May told WABE she ex­pects to rule within the month, but added that some parts of the case could still end up be­fore a jury.

The book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked,” was avail­able on Ama­zon and through Barnes & No­ble in Novem­ber 2014. It de­fined “un­clean­ness” as “what­ever is op­po­site of pu­rity; in­clud­ing sodomy, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, les­bian­ism, ped­erasty, bes­tial­ity, all other forms of sex­ual per­ver­sion” and in­cluded the phrase “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.”

The book was brought to the at­ten­tion of re­tired At­lanta Fire De­part­ment Capt. Cindy Thomp­son, who is openly gay, af­ter fire­fight­ers re­ceived copies at work and were dis­turbed by it, as well as by Cochran iden­ti­fy­ing his af­fil­i­a­tion with the fire de­part­ment in the book.

A joint re­port is­sued Nov. 17 by the Hu­man Rights Cam­paign Foun­da­tion and the Trans Peo­ple of Color Coali­tion doc­u­ments the ris­ing amount of “of­ten deadly vi­o­lence” faced by the trans com­mu­nity.

2017 has been the dead­li­est year on record for the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity. At least 25 in­di­vid­u­als, many of whom were transwomen of color, have been killed. Since Jan­uary 2013, HRC doc­u­mented 102 known trans­gen­der peo­ple who were vic­tims of fa­tal vi­o­lence. Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease about the re­port, these num­bers likely un­der­rep­re­sent the vi­o­lence, as not all vic­tims may be prop­erly iden­ti­fied as trans­gen­der.

The re­port looks at con­tribut­ing fac­tors to this fa­tal vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing anti-LGBT sen­ti­ment, racism, ac­cess to guns and po­lit­i­cal at­tacks on the LGBT com­mu­nity. The re­port in­cludes ways law­mak­ers can ad­dress vi­o­lence as well: en­hanc­ing law en­force­ment re­sponse and train­ing; im­prov­ing data col­lec­tion and re­port­ing; passing non-dis­crim­i­na­tion pro­tec­tions; and adopt­ing com­mon­sense gun vi­o­lence pro­tec­tions.

“Each of the sto­ries fea­tured in this re­port is unique, tragic and dev­as­tat­ing,” TPOCC Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Ky­lar Broadus said in the news re­lease. “Un­pack­ing these sto­ries is a dif­fi­cult but nec­es­sary process if we as a so­ci­ety want to pro­tect the most vul­ner­a­ble and ad­dress the root causes for their un­just and pre­ma­ture deaths.”

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