An 8-year-old boy from Secaucus, New Jersey was banned from his Cub Scout troop because he was transgender.
“”My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”
In a report by NorthJersey.com, Joe Maldonado joined pack 87 back in October and was asked to leave a month later. According to the boy’s mother, Kristie Maldonado, Joe is accepted at school and it was complaints from the parents, and not fellow scouts, that lead to him being removed from the troop. “Not one of the kids said, ‘You don’t belong here,'” said Maldonado. She also said that she was unaware that anyone had a problem with her son being a member of the pack, which is hosted by the Immaculate Conception Church.
The move by the Cub Scouts is sparking a new debate over discrimination in Scouting. “I’m way more angry than sad,” Joe said. “My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”
This is not the first time the Scouts have been in the spotlight for LGBT discrimination, having only recently lifted a ban on gay scouts and leaders. Spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts, Effie Delimarkos, said in a statement that the organization considers transgender children a separate issue. “No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” she said, but later added, “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.” She declined to address Joe Maldonado’s situation specifically, and would not comment on whether they had a specific policy for transgender participants. Her statement also said Cub Scout programs are for those identified as boys on their birth certificates.
A spokesman for the Newark Roman Catholic Archdiocese said they had nothing to do with the Boy Scouts’ decision and declined to comment further.