The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has reaffirmed its policy of welcoming transgender girls.
The policy, which was made public four years ago, only recently came to the attention of the anti-gay American Family Association (AFA), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group.
The AFA said the GSA had ‘lost its moral compass’ and started an online petition urging it to rescind the policy and restrict membership ‘biological girls.’
‘This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle,’ it reads.
‘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.’
The petition had 35,000 signatures as of Wednesday.
A day after the petition was launched, Andrea Bastiani Archibald, GSUSA’s chief girl expert, responded in a blog post.
‘There is not one type of girl. Every girl’s sense of self, path to it, and how she is supported is unique,’ she wrote.
‘If a girl is recognized by her family, school and community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.
‘Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case by case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority.’