The Boy Scouts of America said the group 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.
She said that 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 after gay rights advocates gathered petitions with more than 1.8 million signatures in support of ending the ban.