The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that, effective immediately, it will accept and register transgender youth into its organization.
The move marks a reversal of a policy in place for a century and is effective for the Boy Scouts and the Cub Scouts. The organization vowed to recognize the gender a youngster lists on an application.
“For more than 100 years, the BSA, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for and participation in many programs, especially single-gender programs,” chief scout Michael Surbaugh said in a recorded published Monday to the organization’s website.
“After weeks of significant conversations at all levels of our organization, we realize that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient. Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently, and these new laws vary widely from state to state,” he said.
The organization will continue to find units that are the best fit. “I hope you’ll join with me in embracing the opportunity to bring scouting to more families and children,” Surbaugh said.
The reversal comes after a transgender child was asked to leave his unit in New Jersey last year.
Source: USA Today | Melanie Eversley