Homophobia in Nashville Fire Department?

A Nashville Fire Department paramedic is under investigation after posting a Facebook rant against gay and lesbian fire department employees, with one post citing that "the queers need to crawl back into the closet."

Kevin Kennedy, a paramedic with the Nashville Fire Department EMS Bureau, started a string of posts in a closed Facebook group that was part of Nashville Fire Department's Deputy Chief Steve Meador's page. Meador heads the Paramedic/EMS Bureau of the department. According to several sources that contacted O&AN, Kennedy directed some of his posts towards particular GLBT individuals on the department.

After department officials were made aware of the comments, Kennedy was immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation that began today.

"We have a very strict order of discipline," says Deputy Chief Kim Lawson, leader of the department's Community Services Bureau. "This is a very dangerous and important job, and any disruption of the purview of our department is not acceptable."

Department officials will decide by next Thursday if Kennedy will be cited for misconduct. If charges are filed in the case, he could face disciplinary actions up to and including termination.

"We do not tolerate hateful statements from anyone," Lawson says. "It goes against what we stand for in the department. If they decide to move forward, the employee will be notified and will be able to present information in a meeting, and then the chief will make disciplinary action."

Although the department hasn't made a formal announcement about the incident, the employees who were targeted in Kennedy's messages have been addressed individually by department officials.

Christopher Sanders, chair of the Tennessee Equality Project Nashville Committee, echoes Lawson's call for the issue to be addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.

"The 2009 non-discrimination ordinance is still in effect and it appears to apply in this situation. We hope the investigation is thorough and if the findings reveal that people were discriminated against or attacked because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we hope appropriate discipline is brought to bear," he says.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

The Best Cannabis Edibles for 2023

Disclaimer: Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

I think we’ve all been there back in the day when we smoked our first joint, and then some, (sorry mom)–hacking, coughing, and choking on the herbaceous weed. Nowadays, there are several products on the market that produces the same effects but without a sore throat like the popular cannabis edibles.

Keep readingShow less
a person holding a padlock in front of a window

As an LGBTQ+ patient, you should be able to expect the same high-quality care provided to all patients. Unfortunately, this doesn’t necessarily always prove to be the case. There remains a notoriously significant disparity in healthcare outcomes for LGBTQ+ patients, often related to issues with discrimination among providers.

Even when you find a good physician, this doesn’t mean that everyone interacting with your healthcare information will be as respectful or responsible. It is, therefore, important to be vigilant about how your data is handled. You have a right to privacy just as you have an expectation of fair treatment.

Keep readingShow less

National Margarita Day

A lot of us have really picked up an interest in tequila and it's no wonder. Its popularity is soaring in the U.S. and doesn't look like it'll be slowing down any time soon. The only contender would probably be whiskey. Meh, but they have their own day. Now, it's National Margarita Day and we put together some of the best margarita recipes around so you can pick one or maybe even all of them to try.

We have a few surprises in there too. Maybe it's not all about tequila but it certainly has a theme going on. Take a look at some of these great tequila brands and start making some amazing margaritas today!

Keep readingShow less