Transgender children who identify as boys will now be allowed to join the Boy Scouts of America for the first time since it was founded in 1910.
In a statement released on Monday, the Boy Scouts announced that it will remove the requirement that children be registered as male on their birth certificate to join their ranks. Many states make it incredibly difficult for people to change the gender on their birth certificate.
"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."
But the move comes after a transgender eight-year-old was asked to leave the Scouts in New Jersey last year. Kirstie Maldonado, the mother of Joe Maldonado, went public last year after her son was asked to leave his group.
"It's a big change for everybody that all are accepted now... I'm so delighted that they finally called and they did say this, but I'm still angry."
The move follows a decision by the Boy Scouts to allow gay members in 2013, and a lift on gay leaders in 2015. Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is credited with successfully lobbying the Boy Scouts to change those rules.
No doubt that the century-old organization, founded in 1910, is attempting to keep up with modern times. Zach Wahls, the co-founder of the group Scouts for Equality, said he was "proud" of the decision.