The Boy Scouts of America has announced it will begin accepting members based on their identified gender, opening the door for transgender boys to join.
The new policy allows membership to boys-only Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts programs to be based on the gender indicated on an application, instead of a child’s birth certificate as had been the case previously.
“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,” the organisation explained in a statement.
“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 move comes after an 8-year-old transgender Cub Scout in New Jersey accused the organization of expelling him from the boys-only program because he was born a girl.
Justin Wilson from Scouts For Equality applauded the Boy Scouts for the change, saying their group is “steadfast in our belief that Scouting should be for everyone.”
In 2013, the Boys Scouts ended a ban on openly gay youths. Until 2015 openly gay men were still banned from being Scout leaders.
In 2015, it came to light that the Girl Scouts of America had welcomed transgender girls into their ranks for a number of years.