Transgender Boy Asked To Rejoin Boy Scouts Under New Policy
It’s about time…
According to USA Today reports Monday night the Boy Scouts of America issued a statement signalling a major change to their long contested policy:
“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application,” the Boy Scouts said in the statement. “Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child.”
Kristie Maldonado of Secaucus said she received a call on Monday night from the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts telling her that her son, Joe, would be welcome back as a Cub Scout.
Joe’s story, first reported in The Record in December, led to a national debate over the Boy Scouts’ policy at a time when the organization appeared to be emerging from a period of turmoil after its decisions, amid heated internal discussions, to overturn bans against gay Scouts and gay Scouting leaders in recent years.
His mother said she was surprised by Monday’s call, when she was told that the Scouts would change their policy and no longer go by the gender on a birth certificate. Last year, in response to questions by The Record, the Boy Scouts said they check birth certificates to determine eligibility for programs that are restricted to boys, but on Monday night they said in a statement that “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 interesting part about all of that is that Maldonado claims she was never asked for a birth certificate and other LGBT advocates say they were not aware of the organization asking for birth certificates either. So that sounds like a load of bullhockey…
What does seem likely is the organization wasn’t trying to deal with the civil rights complaint Maldonado filed last month with state officials charging the organization with discrimination. Her son was the first child to be banned from the scouts for being transgender according to advocates for gay and transgender people. Those same advocates say the organization never had a formal policy related to trans kids and the issue wasn’t raised when the ban against gay scouts and scout leaders was overturned after decades. Boy Scouts of America’s current president, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, had been in favor of overturning the bans, largely because they cost the Boy Scouts millions of dollars as major donors stopped giving money to the organization.
Gotta hit these companies where it really hurts — their wallets.
In recent weeks, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s office had been in conversation with the Boy Scouts about developing “a formal policy that is fully inclusive of transgender youth,” according to a spokesman for the senator. Booker issued a statement on Monday night saying he was “happy” about the Boy Scouts’ decision to “include transgender children. This is the right thing to do for an organization that does so much to instill character in our youth.”
Can we just say, we love Cory Booker. But what do you guys think about this? Transgender children have always been a controversial topic. Would you want your Trans son to be a Boy Scout or Girl Scout?