A former cop from Georgia, who quit his job after receiving a reprimand for a Facebook post discussing the Bible’s stance on gay marriage, stated that he felt the need to “support God’s teachings”.
Jacob Kersey, 19, was a police officer in Port Wentworth, Georgia, for less than a year, when he found himself in the crosshairs of controversy earlier this month. He joined the force in May 2022 and graduated from the academy last September.
Months later, despite receiving what he said were highly favorable on-the-job reviews, he’s vacated the position with the Port Wentworth Police Department he worked so diligently to secure.
“On Jan. 2, I made a Facebook post while I was off-duty about God’s design for marriage,” Kersey told CBN’s Faithwire. “And the post simply stated that God created marriage, marriage refers to Christ in the church, and that’s why there’s no such thing as homosexual marriage.”
The former officer said this sentiment is a “deeply held Christian belief” and one seen throughout the entirety of the Bible. But despite purportedly posting on his own time, he said his direct patrol supervisor contacted him on Jan. 3 and informed him someone had complained about his Facebook post.
“He stated that someone had complained, that I would need to remove the post,” Kersey said. “And I stated, ‘Well, that’s a deeply held Christian belief of mine. I won’t be able to remove it.’”
The ex-cop said he was then told the situation could lead to his termination. Kersey also claims he was advised to remember the “separation of church and state” — something that stunned him.
“That’s a terrible misunderstanding of what separation of truth and state means,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was on a traffic stop … I wasn’t handing out Gospel tracks. This was when I was off-duty on my Facebook page.”
With Kersey refusing to budge, he said his superior called the lieutenant. The lieutenant then reportedly told Kersey the department didn’t want to be faced with any liability if a use-of-force situation unfolded between Kersey and a member of the LGBTQ community.
The young officer found that statement shocking, as he stressed his professionalism and love for others, regardless of disagreement over external issues. But the situation purportedly didn’t end there.
“A few minutes later, my major called and told me to turn in everything that belongs to the city,” Kersey said, noting he thought he was fired at that point. “So, I pack up everything, I go in the next morning, turn in everything, give them the keys to my patrol car, park it in the back, go inside.”
From there, he met with the police chief and was purportedly told his original post was likened to saying the N-word, something Kersey found deeply alarming.
“He equates me to the most horrific kind of racist, simply because I have a belief in God’s design for marriage,” he said, noting the entire situation left him in “complete disbelief.” “I knew immediately that I needed to take a stand for God’s Word. I believe that was the Holy Spirit, because I loved law enforcement, and I love law enforcement.”
Kersey said he was initially placed on administrative leave while officials explored his podcasts and social media posts to see if he had violated department policy. A week later, he said he was told he hadn’t violated anything on the books, but that restrictions would be in place.
“[They said] … I would be allowed to post Bible verses and Scripture verbatim,” he said. “However, if I gave a quote, interpretation, or opinion of scripture that is offensive to someone, somewhere, that I would be fired for.”
In the end, despite not being fired over the initial post, Kersey said the situation forced him to reconsider his position, specifically considering the lack of trust on display.
“I just looked at the whole situation and said, ‘Law enforcement is a dangerous job to begin. My command staff has equated me to the most horrific kind of racist. They’re telling me that they’re going to fire me if I don’t abide by this new policy. If I express my Christian beliefs again, they’re going to fire me,’” he said.
Kersey continued, “I just thought, with the nature of the job, it’s not fair to … go back … when my command staff doesn’t have my back.”
The former cop chose to resign Jan. 17, stating his decision to vacate the role had everything to do with the ultimatum he felt he was given.
“A law enforcement officer needs to know that their command staff has their back,” Kersey said.
He’s still dumbfounded by the purported presupposition he would have treated anyone in the LGBTQ community in an improper way.
“When I went to work … you’re professional. You do your job that God called you to,” he said. “You do it professionally. You treat people with courtesy, fairness, and respect.”
As for what the future holds, Kersey said he plans to tell his story and take a stand for Christians, using his experience to fight for Christians’ rights to speak freely and practice their faith.
After The Daily Signal initially reported the story, Police Chief Matt Libby purportedly announced his retirement. Details on his departure are not fully available.
CBN’s Faithwire reached out to the Port Wentworth Police Department and was told no one was available to comment; a voicemail requesting comment has not yet been returned. We will update the story upon receiving a response or as new details emerge.