Boy Scouts to allow transgender children who identify as boys to join

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

DALLAS (AP) – The Boy Scouts of America says it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs.

The organization announced Monday that it had made the decision to base enrollment in boys only programs on the gender a child or parent lists on the application to become a scout.

The organization had previously held a policy that relied on the gender listed on a child’s birth certificate.

A spokeswoman for the group says it made the decision based on states and communities changing how gender is defined.

A transgender child in Secaucus, New Jersey, was asked late last year to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender.

In a video posted Monday night BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh elaborated on the decision.

“We’ve taken the opportunity to evacuate and update our approach. I hope you will with me and embracing the opportunity to bring scouting to more families and child that can benefit from what our program has to offer,” Surbaugh said.