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Finally, some good news.
The Boy Scouts of America just announced that they will officially lift their ban on transgender boys joining the organization.
Late last year, the issue came to light when Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, New Jersey kicked out eight-year-old transgender Cub Scout Joe Maldonado after parent complaints.
The Cub Scouts tried defending this, stating that transgender was a “new issue” and they didn’t have an official policy set in place. But we found out that they did.
“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,” we reported. “It’s an outdated policy—the Girl Scouts admit transgender children—and the BSA’s policy should be updated accordingly.”
Well, they finally have updated that policy and here it is.
The official statement reads:
As one of America’s largest youth-serving organizations, the Boy Scouts of America continues to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible.
While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.
Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application. Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.
The Boy Scouts of America is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.
But don’t sing “Kumbaya” quite yet.
While this is great and all, the Boy Scouts still may have some ways to go. While they officially ended their ban on gay adult members, individual troops can still kick out gay adult members. That’s the group’s official policy.
Not good enough for us.