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VOL. 40 | NO. 30 | Friday, July 22, 2016

Nashville fire official facing heat over LGBT Facebook posts

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A Nashville Fire Department official is facing disciplinary action over Facebook posts he made in reference to the LGBT community.

In a letter dated June 13 to District EMS Chief Tim Lankford, the department's Deputy Director Steve Holt said officials discovered posts that were perceived as "racial, stereotypical, and/or threatening towards members of the public" on Lankford's social media account, news outlets reported.

In one post, Holt said Lankford wrote he was "so disturbed about the Supreme Court ruling today I can barely function at my job. What has this country become?" referencing the high court's decision to legalize same-sex marriages nationwide.

In another post, Lankford allegedly threatened members of the LGBT community stating that, "The first man who goes into the restroom with my daughter won't have to worry about surgery."

According to Holt, Lankford is accused of violating the department's soci al media policy because he identified himself as a fire department employee on his Facebook page and also mentioned his rank as district chief without clearly stating that his views were his own and not a reflection of the fire department.

During a disciplinary meeting on July 12, Lankford told fire officials that he doesn't have any prejudice against anyone.

"I don't even know why I said that stuff because I don't believe it," Lankford said. "I've never had my character called into question. I don't like it and I don't like hurting people."

Fire spokesman Brian Haas said a decision on any disciplinary action is expected to be made within the next several days.

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