Dear Commons Community,
Reuters is reporting that the Boy Scouts of America announced yesterday that it would begin accepting transgender boys, bucking its more than a century-old practice of using the gender stated on a birth certificate to determine eligibility.
“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application,” Boy Scouts of America communications director Effie Delimarkos said in an emailed statement.
Delimarkos’ cited shifting definitions of gender under state laws, which can “vary widely from state to state,” in explaining the change.
Delimarkos said while the organization offers programs for all youths, its Cub and Boy Scout programs are specifically for boys. The change will allow children to apply even if male is not listed on their birth certificate.
In 2013, the Boy Scouts voted to lift a ban on openly gay scouts that had been in place throughout the organization’s history. Two years later, the organization lifted its blanket ban on gay adult leaders after its president called the ban unsustainable.
Congratulations to the Boy Scouts on this policy change!