An eight-year-old and his family is suing the New Jersey Boy Scouts’ Council after getting kicked out for being trans.
Joe Maldonado, and mother Kristie, are claiming the council violated state law protecting against discrimination based on gender identity.
The boy, who has identified as male since he was two years old, had been accepted into the Scouts last October.
However, other parents complained to group leaders. Kristie was asked to ‘prove’ Joe was a boy in a phone call and was told the group only allowed boys based on their birth certificate and biological sex.
‘I was in shock, upset,’ Kristie said. ‘The kids didn’t have a problem….he was having fun.’
‘Not one of the kids said, “You don’t belong here,” she added.
Joe said it ‘wasn’t fair’ and it made him mad.
‘I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad,’ he 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.’
The Boy Scouts have previously said they would allow trans children to join co-ed groups, but gender-specific organizations like the Boy Scouts or Cubs are off-limits.
Effie Delimarkos, spokesperson for Boy Scouts of America, said Joe was kicked out because he did not ‘meet eligibility requirements’.
‘The BSA grants youth membership to Cub Scout to boys in the first through fifth grades, or seven to 10 years of age,’ she said. ‘If needed we defer to the information provided for an individual’s birth certificate and their biological sex.’
She added scouting ‘teaches its youth members and adult leaders to be respectful of other people and individual beliefs’.
The Boy Scouts of America decided to finally end its ban on openly gay scouts in 2013. Then two years later the organization also lifted the ban on scouts over the age of 18 which also applied to adults leaders and employees of the organization.