The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) reaffirmed their long-tradition of kicking out rejecting LGBTQ members by kicking out eight-year-old transgender Cub Scout Joe Maldonado (pictured above) in response to parent complaints.Maldonado had joined Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, New Jersey as an openly transgender member a month before his explusion.
The Boy Scouts’ excuse? Transgender identity is a “new” issue:
The Scouts declined to say whether they have a written transgender policy. Effie Delimarkos, the communications director for the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement that the organization’s Cub Scouts programs are for boys age 7 to 10 and that “the classification on the participant’s birth certificate” would be used to “confirm legal status.” She did not provide additional details and did not specify whether the Boy Scouts have ever examined gender statuses on birth certificates.
They don’t have a policy? Isn’t the Scout motto “Be prepared”? BSA president Randall Stephenson didn’t respond to USA Today’s interview requested. Maybe he wasn’t prepared.
The truth is that they do have a policy not to allow trans boys with “female” listed on their birth certificates to participate in its boys-only programs. It’s an outdated policy—the Girl Scouts admit transgender children—and the BSA’s policy should be updated accordingly.
Maldonado’s explusion shouldn’t surprise anyone considering how long it took for the BSA to stop ejecting LGBTQ members in the first place. After decades of doing so, the organization decided in January 2014 only to kick out LGBTQ scouts after they turned 18 (the magic age when LGBTQ people become a threat to children!). They later revised this weaksauce policy in July 2015 by voting unanimously to end its official ban on gay adult members by letting individual scout units set their own policy on the issue.
In short, individual troops can kick out LGBTQ members—that’s the group’s official policy.