The Boy Scouts of America claims that members of all sexual orientations are welcome in their organization, but that welcome apparently doesn't extend to people who are identify as a gender different from the one on their birth certificates. Case in point: this fall, an 8-year-old boy from New Jersey named Joe Maldonado was kicked out of Cub Scout Pack 87 in Secaucus, NJ, for being transgender.
When Joe's mother, Kristie Maldonado, signed her son up for the Scouts, his transgender status was reportedly made clear. At that point, Joe, who had been born a girl named Jodi, had been living as a boy for over a year, and his gender identity wasn't a problem at school.
About a month after signing her son up, Maldonado was allegedly told by a Northern New Jersey Council of Boy Scouts official that the some of the other kids' parents had complained, but not the kids themselves. Maldonado stressed, "Not one of the kids said, 'You don’t belong here.’”
In an interview with the North Jersey Record, Joe said,
It made me mad. I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. 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 communications director for the Boy Scouts of America, Effie Delimarkos, gave a statement to the Record which read,
No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.
The Boy Scouts of America told CBS News that it offered the family different co-ed programs for Joe, but what Maldonado really wants is for them to apologize to her son.