The Scouts’ policy change came in a written and video statement released by Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. He said that for more than a hundred years the Scouts used the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine a boy’s eligibility to join its single gender programs.
“Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently than society did in the past,” Surbaugh said, “and these new laws vary widely from state to state.
“Starting today we will accept registration in our Scouting programs based on the gender identity provided on an individual’s application,” said Surbaugh.
But Surbaugh also seemed to anticipate that the policy change will be met with more than a little skepticism in some areas of the country.
“We will also continue to work with families to find Scouting units that are the best fit for their children,” he said.
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