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Boy Scouts of America Welcomes Transgenders

01-31-2017
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The Boy Scouts of America will now accept transgender children. 

The new policy is reported to take effect immediately. Now membership in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be based on the gender indicated on an application. 

The organization previously used birth certificates to determine eligibility for its single gender programs. 

"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," BSA spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said Monday. 

The Boy Scouts have also fallen in line with the Girl Scouts policy that created transgender friendly membership policies in recent years. 

The change in policy from the Boy Scouts comes a few months after an 8-year-old Cub Scout in New Jersey accused the organization of kicking him out for being transgender. 

"We are incredibly proud of Joe Maldonado -- the transgender boy from New Jersey whose expulsion last year ignited this controversy -- and his mother Kristie for their courage in doing what they knew was right. We are also proud of the Boy Scouts," said Zach Wahls, co-founder of Scouts for Equality. 

"I hope you'll join with me in embracing the opportunity to bring scouting to more families and children who can benefit from what our organization has to offer," Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said. 

"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 beliefs," he added. 

The Boy Scouts of America has come under fire in the past over LGBT issues. In 2015, the group lifted a ban on gay adults as Scout leaders, and three years ago it started allowing openly gay youths to join scouting. 

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