Girl Scouts of America Allows Transgender Youth to Join-Truth!

Girl Scouts of America Allows Transgender Youth to Join-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
A number of news outlets and blogs sites have reported that Girl Scouts of America recently changed its policy so that boys who identify as girls can join the organization.
The Truth:
Girl Scouts of America decides whether or not to allow transgender youth to join the group on a case-by-case basis, but that policy isn’t a new one.
Girl Scouts of America first allowed a transgender girl to join a chapter in Colorado in 2011 after she had initially been denied admission, CNN reports:

“The Girl Scouts of Colorado blamed the initial decision to exclude the child on ignorance of the scouts’ policy. The state scouts said Bobby was welcome to join Girl Scouts. ‘If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout,’ said the Colorado Girl Scouts, in a statement to a CNN affiliate.”

The situation drew criticism from conservative groups that called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies. It also led Girl Scouts of America to change its national policy on transgender youth:

“Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority. That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.

“These situations are rare and are considered individually with the best interests of all families in mind. Should any girl requiring special accommodations wish to camp, GSUSA recommends that the local council makes similar accommodation that schools across the country follow in regard to changing, sleeping arrangements, and other travel-related activities. With respect to volunteers, Girl Scouts welcomes both male and female adult volunteers and has developed appropriate safeguards regarding roles and responsibilities to ensure that girls receive the proper supervision and support.”

The story re-appeared in the headlines in May 2015 after the American Family Association issued an “action alert” that warned people about the “new” Girl Scouts policy on transgender youth:

“This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle. Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk. Adults are willing to experiment on our kids – both the boys who are confused and the girls who will wonder why a boy in a dress is in the bathroom with them. The Girl Scouts of America has lost its moral compass and needs your encouragement to rescind this new policy. Since 2003, bad policies like this have resulted in GSA’s enrollment dropping by over one million girls, almost 27% of its membership.”

After reading the action alert, many believed that the Girl Scouts policy on transgender youth was a new one, even though had been in place for more than four years.