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Friday, January 9, 2015

Atlanta fire chief fired after publishing anti-gay words similar to an OSU Professor's words in 1953

Lester A. Kirkendall booklet 'Parents, children and the sex molester' 1953 cover

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) cover of an eight page booklet by Oregon State University professor Lester A. Kirkendall, "Parents, children and the sex molester," published by the E.C. Brown Trust for The Oregon Coorinating Council on Social Hygiene and Family Life, Portland, Oregon 1953 (Oregon State University card catalog HQ71 .K5). See previous post OSU sex molester education 1953 (9/12/08)

I was reminded of Prof. Kirkendall when I read the news story "Reed: Atlanta fire chief terminated following book controversy," Atlanta-Journal Constitution posted Jan. 6, 2015 and commentary by Sean Mandell, "Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran Is Fired By Mayor: VIDEO," posted Jan. 6, 1015. It prompted me to write the following letter to the editor:

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for his "judgment" and not his "personal religious beliefs," according to the Mayor Kasim Reed, after self-publishing a book calling homosexuality a "sexual perversion," comparable to bestiality and pederasty.

Similarly hateful assertions were published in a 1953 booklet to educate Oregon parents, which was written by the learned and distinguished Oregon State University Associate Professor of Family Life Lester A. Kirkendall, for the Oregon Coordinating Council on Social Hygiene and Family Life, in support of U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy's anti-gay and anti-Communist campaign.

In my opinion, the Constitutional rights of free speech and religion unconditionally permit all citizens to say ignorant or hateful things, however, these rights do not exempt publically appointed leaders from being held accountable for a higher standard of speech because they can choose to resign and then freely speak out if they disagree with public opinion.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Say what you will, but take responsibility for consequences," Gazette-Times, Jan. 9, 2015, p. A9)