Paramedic investigated after homophobic Internet posts - WSMV News 4

Paramedic investigated after homophobic Internet posts

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A veteran with the Nashville Fire Department is under investigation over comments he made on Facebook.

Kevin Kennedy has spent the past 20 years on the job saving lives as a paramedic with the Nashville Fire Department.

But what he chose to write on his personal Facebook page has made a lot of people angry.

Chris Sanders with the Tennessee Equality Project said he was shocked to learn Kennedy posted a series of gay slurs on a personal Facebook page and then wrote, "It's my opinion that homosexuality is wrong."

Posts then show that Kennedy referred to a coworker being gay and said he should keep his actions in the closet.

"People have the right to go to work expecting to work and not be exposed to these kind of ridiculous comments," Sanders said. "These folks are doing life critical work every day, and we don't want them to be distracted by this kind of thing in the workplace."

When Kennedy's supervisor read the posts, he ordered him to take them down and immediately put Kennedy on administrative leave.

But Kennedy got even more flack from colleagues.

"His own coworkers chastised him pretty strongly about some of the comments that he made," Deputy Chief Kim Lawson said.

Channel 4 called the co-worker that Kennedy referenced to in his posts. He said he couldn't talk about how he feels about the posts because of the ongoing investigation, but he did say he's pleased the department took such quick action.

"He didn't deserve those comments to be made against him, and it will be dealt with very thoroughly and very swiftly and very firmly," Lawson said.

Kennedy is under investigation for the next week or so. Then his chief will determine whether these posts are enough to end his 20-year career.

Channel 4 contacted Kennedy, but he said he has been advised not to comment about the case until the investigation is complete.

He is on administrative leave with pay.

Copyright 2011 WSMV. All rights reserved.

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