Georgia police chief announces retirement days after young cop resigns over religious post about gay marriage

The police chief of Port Wentworth, Georgia, retired Monday in the wake of national news coverage related to a young officer who said he felt pressured to resign from the department after he was suspended for a religious social media post saying "there's no such thing" as gay marriage.

Chief Matthew W. Libby announced his retirement, which was confirmed by the city manager the same day, according to local station WTOC.

The Daily Signal reported that the outlet first said he had resigned but changed its headline to indicate he retired. There was no indication the abrupt announcement was related to the officer's resignation days earlier, and the ex-chief's retirement lists no specific reason for the decision.

Effective February 1, 2023, I am retiring from my position of the Port Wentworth Police Department," Libby wrote in his letter. "It has been my honor to serve this community for over 31 years. I wish the City and the department well and I am thankful for all the opportunities I was afforded during my career."


Port Wentworth drew national attention in recent days over the resignation of Jacob Kersey, a 19-year-old who was subjected to an internal investigation over a Facebook post that reportedly drew "an anonymous complaint," according to a Jan. 13 letter of notification he received.

"God designed marriage," Kersey wrote in the post. "Marriage refers to Christ and the church. That's why there's no such thing as homosexual marriage."

Jacob Kersey said he wanted to become a police officer because of the positive impact officers made on him when he was growing up in a broken home. (Jacob Kersey)

Though Kersey wasn't fired following the investigation, he said he decided to quit Jan. 18 because he was told his religious posts could raise questions about his objectivity, and that he could face termination for future social media posts that others find offensive. He claimed Libby likened his post about gay marriage to using the N-word.

The Port Wentworth Police Department, which serves a town of approximately 11,000 people in the Savannah metropolitan area, did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

"I would hope that this is the start of a positive change there in Port Wentworth," Kersey told Fox News Digital of the chief's retirement. "I hope that the other members of the command staff would publicly apologize for the incident and that they would commit to ensuring that something like this does not happen again."

Jacob Kersey told Fox News Digital that he hopes his story will encourage other people and especially Christians to stand up for their beliefs. (Jacob Kersey)

Kersey said he hopes the department makes sure "another officer is not bullied for practicing their religious beliefs when they're off duty and that they commit to ensuring that they protect their officers' rights."

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