CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397
Port Wentworth, GA -- Family Research Council hosted a rally this morning on behalf of former Port Wentworth, Ga. police officer Jacob Kersey. Kersey was forced to quit his dream job as a police officer --with an otherwise spotless record -- after being pulled off duty and threatened with termination for expressing a biblical view of marriage on his private Facebook account.
Kersey, along with First Baptist Garden City Senior Pastor Tommy Duke, First Baptist Port Wentworth Pastor Paul Mongin, Bishop Garland Hunt, Jody Hice (former Member of Congress and FRC's Senior Advisor to the President) and Mark Harris (Vice President of FRC's Association of Churches & Ministries) presented the petition, signed by nearly 35,000 FRC supporters, to Port Wentworth's City Manager Steve Davis. Davis accepted the petitions on behalf of the city.
The gathering also prayed for Port Wentworth Mayor Gary Norton who is currently hospitalized.
The petition demanded Port Wentworth city officials publicly apologize to Kersey for discriminating against him for his faith and violating his First Amendment rights.
Hice, after successfully delivering the petitions, commented:
"Today I, along with nearly 35,000 Americans, asked Port Wentworth city officials to respect and abide by the most basic of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. We asked city officials to apologize to Jacob and to cease fostering an environment of religious hostility for their city employees. We look forward to continuing to hold Port Wentworth officials to account and make sure they follow through on their much needed reforms. Jacob's story unfortunately is not unique so we, as Americans, must double down on allowing the First Amendment -- and our First Freedom-- to flourish in every corner of this nation."
The petition reads as follows:
"Mayor Gary Norton, Councilman Thomas Barbee, Councilwoman Gabrielle Nelson, Councilman Mark Stephens, Councilman Rufus Bright, and Councilman Glenn Jones:
"We write you with great concern about the treatment of former Port Wentworth Police Officer Jacob Kersey. Jacob has been gravely mistreated by the Port Wentworth Police Department for his First Amendment-protected, biblically accurate views. At a time with sky-high crime rates nationwide, our communities should be supporting our law enforcement officers. You instead punished Jacob for sharing the biblical view that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
"This is religious bigotry. We will not stand for this.
"We ask that the city issue a public apology to Jacob for having discriminated against him because of his faith and for violating his First Amendment rights," the petition concluded.