For over a century, the Boy Scouts of America accepted members, especially to its single-gender programs based on the gender information provided to them on the birth certificate of the individual. This insistence on only adhering to the gender-information on the birth certificate meant several transgender boys were unable to enroll for several gender-specific programs. Starting today, however, this century old rule stands scrapped. Earlier today, the Boy Scouts of America officially announced that it will now begin accepting members based on the gender listing on their application form – and not their birth certificates.
— Shoq (@Shoq) January 31, 2017
— CNN (@CNN) January 31, 2017
The announcement about the acceptance of transgender children to the Boy Scouts Of America was made on the media page of their official website where Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh also posted a video message announcing the changes. In the video, he is quoted saying the following.
“After weeks of significant conversations at all levels of our organization, we realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient,” Surbaugh said.
We have embedded the video below.
The official statement issued by the Boy Scouts of America read;
“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.”
Over the past few years, the Boy Scouts of America has ended several of its rules that many said were skewed against transgender and gay individuals. Back in 2013, the BSA ended its ban on openly gay youths participating in its activities. Two years later, in 2015, the BSA approved a resolution to end the organization’s ban on gay adults working in leadership positions. This resolution was ratified on July 27, 2015, following which openly gay leaders were allowed to participate in leadership positions within the organization.
The news of the Boy Scouts of America starting to accept transgender kids comes barely a month since The Inquisitr reported the case of Joe Maldonado, an 8-year-old transgender boy who was born female and was barred from his local Cub Scout troop on the basis of gender identity. This, in spite of the fact that Joe has been living as a boy for over a year and was even allowed to use the boy’s restroom.
[Featured Image By Pixabay]