SECAUCUS, N. J. – The family of an 8-year-old New Jersey boy says that he was kicked out of the Cub Scouts, because he is transgender, a motion that the opening of a new front in the debate about discrimination in Scouting.
Joe Maldonado joined the Pack 87 in Secaucus in October, and was asked to leave and about a month later, according to The chronicle (http://bit.ly/2i48erC).
“I’m more angry than sad,” Joe said in a story published Tuesday. “My identity is a boy. If it was me, I would every person in the world. The right to do.”
Joe was born a girl but has identified as male for more than a year. His mother, Kristie Maldonado, said Joe is accepted as a boy at school, and that complaints from parents — not Joe’s fellow-Scouts — that led to his fall.
“Not one of the children said: ‘You do not belong here,'” said Maldonado.
The Boy Scouts of America endured years of controversy before eventually lifting of a ban on gay Scouts and leaders in the past few years. But the spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in a statement the organization considers transgender children as a separate issue.
“No youth may be removed from one of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” she said, but he added: “Gender identity is not related to sexual orientation.”
She refused to directly of Joe’s situation or say if there is a written policy on transgender participants. The statement said Cub Scout programs are for people who are identified as boys on their birth certificate.
The Boy Scouts of America is not known to have rejected all the Scouts about the gender-identity before the Secaucus case, said Justin Wilson, the executive director of Scouts for Equality.
Wilson said he knows of at least two transgender boys that are Cub Scouts, one in a southern state that he does not have the name and the other in New York. He is not aware of any cases where the Scouts asked for a birth certificate as a condition for membership.
Maldonado said she was not aware that anyone had a problem with her son, a member of the pack, which is hosted by Immaculate Conception Church, until they received a phone call from the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts.
A spokesman for the Newark Roman Catholic Archdiocese said that it had nothing to do with the Boy Scouts’ decision. He refused to comment further.
Council executive Eric Chamberlin recognized call Kristie Maldonado last month, but refused to comment further. He referred questions to the Scouts’ national office, and said that the matter involved “our membership standards.”
Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts told The Associated Press that he would admit transgender children are coeducational programs, but not programs that are for boys only, such as the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts.
The national boy Scouts organization, not affiliated with the Boy Scouts has accepted transgender members for a year.
The Boy Scouts did not respond to questions about whether the group would accept a transgender girl whose birth certificate indicates that she is a man.