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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is studying Monday’s announcement by the Boy Scouts of America to allow transgender boys into the BSA’s boys-only programs.
The LDS Church’s statement reads: “The Church is studying the announcement made yesterday by Boy Scouts of America. Boy Scouts has assured its religious chartering organizations that, as in the past, they will be able to organize their troops in a way fully consistent with their religious beliefs. In recent years the Church has made several changes to its programs for youth, and continues to look for ways to better serve its families and young people worldwide.”
The Boy Scouts of America said Monday it will begin accepting transgender boys in its boys-only programs, which is a move away from its long-time practice of determining eligibility by gender as stated on a birth certificate.
The Boy Scouts of America released several different statements Monday on the move.
“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identify indicated on the application,” said Boy Scouts of America communications director Effie Delimarkos in one emailed statement to a media outlet.
And spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch provided a statement on one of BSA’s web sites, saying the organization had considered a recent New Jersey case involving an 8-year-old boy being asked to leave a Scout group after parents and leaders found out he is transgender.
“For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs,” the statement said. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identify differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”
In 2013, the Boy Scouts ended its ban on the participation of openly gay youth in its programs and activities. And in July 2015, it ended a ban on openly gay adult leaders. However, BSA leaders then said church-sponsored units could continue to disallow openly gay leaders for religious reasons.
The Boy Scouts said the new enrollment move goes into effect immediately.
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