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TRANSGENDER PASTOR ACQUITTED
Abstract: Charges against transgender Pastor Sophie Fortresson of the Central Great Lakes Synod were dismissed by a disciplinary hearing committee.
In what is sure to be a controversial turn of events, a disciplinary hearing committee in the Central Great Lakes Synod has found Pastor Sophie Fortresson innocent of charges that her conduct is incompatible with the pastoral office. Pastor Fortresson completed the transition to female gender identity in February, 2006. She remains married to her wife Ms. Rose Festeburg-Fortresson.
Bishop Thorvald "Wally" Noe-Effingway filed charges against Pastor Fortresson in December, 2006 and sought to have her removed from the roster of ordained ministers. It is unknown at this time if the bishop will appeal the decision, but we've already heard grumblings about the "rogue disciplinary hearing committee" and a lack of support from churchwide.
The complete text of the decision and Bishop Noe-Effingway's public statement about the case can be found on the Central Great Lakes Synod Website.