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Male pastor fired after coming out as transgender, now suing church after congregation voted to fire him

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A Canadian male pastor who identifies as a woman has filed a lawsuit against his former church for voting to fire him after he came out as transgender, claiming discrimination.

When the Rev. Junia Joplin was hired by the Lorne Park Baptist Church in Mississauga, Ontario, in 2014, he was living his life as the male that God formed him to be in his mother’s womb. However, he revealed during a livestream sermon last year that he planned to live his life as a woman, Junia.

According to CBC News, the lawsuit alleges that while Joplin received some support from members of the congregation, the church unilaterally ended his leadership.

Joplin’s suit contends he was subject to an “unfair process” in which he was questioned during several virtual town halls and that the congregation voted to end his employment in July of 2020.

On Wednesday, Lorne Park Baptist Church stated that it had gone through a “process of attempting to discern God’s will” when faced with Joplin’s revelation about his gender identity, a procedure it conducted in a “careful and thoughtful manner.”

“In the end, the congregation voted to terminate her employment as lead pastor of the church, with the majority of the votes to terminate made for theological reasons,” the church’s executive council chair, David Huctwith, said in a statement, according to CBC. “We offered her what we think was a fair severance.”

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