Mayor Reed,

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion for all Americans, regardless of belief, and you have publicly advocated for making Atlanta “a more welcoming city for all of her citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, and religious beliefs.” In light of this, your decision to terminate Atlanta's distinguished Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran — a public servant with more than three decades of experience who has served President Obama as U.S. Fire Administrator and was unanimously confirmed as Atlanta’s fire chief —constitutes the absolute height of hypocrisy. 

Chief Cochran, exercising his legally protected rights, expressed his religious convictions in his recent book. He even cleared its contents with your own Ethics Office Director. Despite this, you chose to fire him simply because you disagree with his religious beliefs. This action is not only un-American, it constitutes intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination.

We live in a rich, diverse society. A society with differing viewpoints and beliefs, a society of open discourse in which tolerance and inclusion makes it possible for us to disagree with respect. We also live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal. People of faith – who are a significant part of America’s rich rainbow of diversity – share the same fundamental rights as all other groups.

Chief Cochran and the citizens of Atlanta should all have the right to equal application of equal protections under the law. If one group is protected for its beliefs, all groups must be protected.

By signing this petition, I join my fellow citizens in a united call for tolerance, fairness, and equality for all.

I am asking you to: 

  1. Immediately reinstate Chief Cochran.
  2. Apologize for your unjust actions against Chief Cochran.  
  3. Ensure that no person of faith in Atlanta will be singled out by your administration simply due to the expression of their religious convictions.


As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a holiday honoring an Atlanta native who bravely stood for equality and civil rights, I call on you to respect and honor his legacy. As Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

Who's signing

Toxie Robbins
Glenn Crutchfield
marlene wolfe
Steve Melvin
daniel turnbeaugh
Martha Norwood
Randy Waller
Delia Oliver
Rae Lundy
Reva Griffiths
Chris Kuznieski
Mark Zehner
Shane Stephens
John Lesondak
Philip Samuelsen
I Hunter
Kim Blasingame
Bob Senko
Tyrone Williams
GOAL: 10,000 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 442 reactions

  • Toxie Robbins
  • Glenn Crutchfield
  • marlene wolfe
  • Steve Melvin
  • Sign our petition to have @KasimReed extend equal protection to ALL, even Christians! #ExtinguishIntolerance
  • daniel turnbeaugh
  • Wayne Zachary
  • Sherri Gaston
  • Martha Norwood
  • Randy Waller
    As a Christian this is continuing the disturbing trend. People are tolerant of everything except Christianity. Our politicians are showing their true allegiances too. We can’t forget that. Where they oppose Christianity says something about their faith. Biblical faith in God accepts the expression of speech as along as all expression is allowed. Meaningful and intelligent debate is healthy to faith. If someone must stop other opinions then they are intolerant not the ones who are expressing a message.
  • Dan Johnson
  • Delia Oliver
    Jehovah Jireh

    The Lord will Provide.

    Reinstate…Cheif Cochran.
  • Rae Lundy
  • Hilary Janish
  • Linda DuBose
  • Randal Van Horn
  • Reva Griffiths
  • Sign our petition to have @KasimReed extend equal protection to ALL, even Christians! #ExtinguishIntolerance
  • Chris Kuznieski
  • Mark Zehner
  • Shane Stephens
  • Lisa Waller
  • Michel Demuynck
  • John Lesondak
  • Debra Holzman
    Shame on you.
  • Philip Samuelsen
  • I Hunter
  • Kim Blasingame
  • Bob Senko
  • Tyrone Williams