Boy Scouts will allow transgender children into programs
CLAUDIA LAUER, Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs.
The organization said it had made the decision to begin basing enrollment in its boys-only programs on the gender a child or parent lists on the application to become a scout. The Boy Scouts had previously held a policy that relied on the gender listed on a child's birth certificate for those programs.
The organization's leadership had considered a recent case in Secaucus, New Jersey, where an 8-year-old transgender child had been asked to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender. But the statement issued Monday said the change was made because of the larger conversation about gender identity going on around the country.
"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," the statement said. "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 Boy Scouts said the enrollment decision goes into effect immediately.
Boy Scouts of America leaders lifted a blanket ban on gay troop leaders and employees in July 2015 amid intense pressure. The group had, after heated internal debate, decided in 2013 to allow openly gay youth as scouts.
Photo: 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. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)