The Boy Scouts of America announced on their website Monday that they are reversing a century-old policy in order to accept transgender boys – persons born biologically female but who feel that they need to live as males.
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.
Transgender boys will simply be allowed to indicate their gender on their application and gain entry to Boy Scouts’ programs.
Michael Surbaugh, he Chief Scout Executive of the group, published a video explaining why they changed their policy on the “complex topic” of transgender identity.
“After weeks of significant conversations,” he explained, “at all levels of our organization, we realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient. Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity different than society did in the past. And these laws vary widely from state to state.”
The Boy Scouts of America dropped their ban on accepting openly gay boys as members in 2013, and dropped their ban on openly gay scout leaders in 2015.