This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
Only a few weeks ago, city officials in Port Wentworth, Ga., attacked one of their police officers for posting online his perspective on biblical marriage.
Since then, the police chief has left, and the city has been warned by a legal team that its actions violated the First Amendment.
Now, more than 30,000 people have signed a petition insisting that the city apologizes to Jacob Kersey for its violation of the Constitution.
The Washington Stand, a publication of the Family Research Council, is reporting the “massive show of public support” for Kersey includes petitions from the nearly 31,000 people who signed them for delivery to city officials.
“The 19-year-old was pulled from duty and pressured to resign his position in January over a Facebook post he wrote on his personal account upholding a biblical view of marriage,” the report noted.
And now former Congressman Jody Hice, now senior advisor to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Bishop Garland Hunt of The Father’s House, and former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran will join Georgia pastors in delivering the petitions in support of Kersey.
It got started in January when Kersey was summoned by his superiors and told he could be dismissed unless he removed a post he wrote on his personal social media that stated, “God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the church. That’s why there’s no such thing as homosexual marriage.”
He declined and was placed on administrative leave over his religious faith.
He eventually was reinstated, under threats, and ultimately walked away from the biases in the department.
“I’m just really humbled,” Kersey told The Washington Stand. “The fact that God, in his divine plan, saw it fit to use me as a vessel in this, to stand for religious liberty and to stand for biblical truth. The fact that over 30,000 Americans would take the time to sign and stand with me in both of those things is comforting, and I know there’s many more Americans out there who would agree with all of us.”
He pointed out that God is using such situations to “sound the alarm on the attack on religious liberty.”
He continued, “Is it important to stand for biblical truth and religious liberty or is it important for them to fill the pews? I think that’s really where we’re at right now here in the state of Georgia, and I think a lot of pastors, not just here but across the nation, are being challenged with that as well. What is important to them? I think I’ve seen God at work in both ways. He’s encouraged his people, he’s challenged his people, and I think he is empowering his people to be bold and stand for the truth in love.”
WND reported earlier when attorneys for Kersey warned the city in a letter it was “blatantly” discriminating against the Christian.
“It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone for expressing their religious beliefs,” said Stephanie Taub, of First Liberty. “The city owes Jacob a public apology. And it needs to adopt policies that recognize the free speech and free exercise rights of its employees. Forcing Jacob to choose to either censor his private religious speech or remain employed as a police officer is simply unconstitutional.”