Boy Scouts to troops, packs: Allow transgender children to join scouts
In this June 25, 2016, file photo, Cub Scouts watch a race during the Second Annual World Championship Pinewood Derby in New York's Times Square. The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday, June 25, 2016, that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs.
Transgendered children who want to become Boy or Cub Scouts will now have the opportunity.
The Boy Scouts of America made the announcement Monday, deciding to allow children to enroll in the boys-only programs based on the gender listed on the application, The Associated Press reported.
Previously, the application and the child's birth certificate had to match.
"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," the BSA said in a statement.
The original case stems from a New Jersey's family's fight to allow their child to participate in Boy Scouts.
Joe Maldonado was born a girl but identifies as transgender. He was asked to leave his pack after parents and leaders found out he is transgender.
The soon-to-be 9 year old's mother told The AP that she was contacted by a scouting representative who told her Joe could rejoin his pack. She said he would only if the scout leader who made Joe leave resigns.
"I'm so grateful. I really am that they're accepting and that there won't be any issues. They won't have to go through what my son went through. It's a big change for everybody that they're all accepted now. I'm so delighted that they finally called and they did say this, but I'm still angry," Kristie Maldonado.
The BSA decision goes into effect immediately. The organization lifted a ban on gay troop leaders and employees in 2015. It allowed openly gay children in scouting in 2013, CNN reported.
The Girl Scouts has accepted transgendered members officially in 2015, but had been accepting transgender children for at least four years prior, CNN reported.