Rookie Georgia Police Officer Hangs It Up After Told He Couldn’t Express Views on Traditional Marriage
Thursday, January 26, 2023
A 19-year-old rookie police officer in Georgia has resigned after he was told by his superiors he was not allowed to express his views about traditional man-woman marriage.
“I never would have thought I would have been placed in a situation where I have to choose between my Christian faith and my dream job,” 19-year-old Jacob Kersey said Wednesday in a Facebook post.
“I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given to be a police officer. I do not take that honor and responsibility lightly. However, my integrity and Christian beliefs are at the core of who I am, and I will not abandon them,” he added.
His law enforcement career took a hit after he posted a brief Facebook message on Jan. 2, 2023, the outlet said. In his post, Kersey went on to express a very widely-held religious view that marriage, which is designed by God, doesn’t include the union of gays or lesbians.
“God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the church,” Kersey said in the post. “That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.”
After being placed on leave for one week, Kersey was given the choice of keeping his job or remaining silent on social media about his beliefs. Though he was told he wouldn’t be dismissed, he also would not be allowed to publicly divulge his “interpretation or opinion of Scripture if it was deemed offensive,” the outlet added.
The department issued a letter to him Jan. 13 outlining its formal position.
“After reviewing your Podcast and social media platforms. . .we did not find sufficient evidence to establish a violation of any policies. . . However, the posts, podcasts, and so forth found and considered in our investigation likely offensive to protected classes . . . please be reminded that if any post on any of your social media platforms, or any other statement or action, renders you unable to perform, and to be seen as able to perform, your job in a fair an equitable manner, you could be terminated,” it said.
“If someone somewhere considers an opinion I have—that isn’t a direct quotation from Scripture—to be offensive, then that would be a fireable offense,” Kersey told The Daily Signal, which added:
Kersey said he then was contacted by Lt. Justin Hardy, who told him that the Port Wentworth Police Department didn’t want to be held liable in a “use of force” situation involving someone in the LGBTQ community. Kersey still refused to delete the post.
The police officer received a phone call later that day from the police department’s Maj. Lee Sherrod, ordering him to come to the office the following morning, Jan. 4, and turn in everything he had that belonged to the city.
He said he was told he could post Scripture verses but couldn’t remain with the department if he continued to share his “interpretation or opinion on Scripture if it was deemed offensive.”
“Separation of church and state” was the reason given for why he could not post such views, Kersey said.