Statement on Recent Boy Scouts of America’s Inclusion of Transgender Youth Posted on February 7, 2017

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, a coalition of city leaders who support LGBT rights, commended the announcement made in late January that the Boy Scouts of America will formally allow transgender boys to participate in their organization.

The Boy Scouts will begin accepting members based on the gender listed on their application, a change from the organization’s longstanding policy of deferring to gender assigned at birth. Michael Surbaugh, the organization’s chief executive, said that referring to birth certificates was no longer sufficient for determining acceptance into the Boy Scouts.

“Children who are living true to themselves should not be the victims of discrimination,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee, a regional co-chair for MAD. “We are happy to see the Boy Scouts of America recognize that LGBT discrimination has no place in our society, particularly when it is targeted at our youth.”

Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is a group of Mayors representing than 200 cities in 44 states who have joined together to oppose all forms of bias and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and commit to share best practices to institutionalize non-discrimination as a core value of their communities.

This decision by the Boy Scouts came less than three months after Joe Maldonado, an 8-year-old transgender boy, was kicked out of a Cub Scout pack in Secaucus, New Jersey, because of his birth gender. On Monday, Maldanado, said he was glad for the reversal.

“I think it’s pretty cool that I get to go back in,” said Maldanado.

This action by the Boy Scouts follows the reversal of similar bans on openly gay scouts and troop leaders in the last four years. The Girl Scouts of America have had a policy of admitting transgender girls in place for many years.