Louisiana Girl Scouts ban transgender members because of ‘health and safety’
The Louisiana Girl Scouts has broken ranks with the national body to ban transgender girls from taking part – citing “health and safety” concerns.
The Girl Scouts of America has come under fire from anti-LGBT groups in recent weeks due to a policy that allows transgender youths to join the girls-only group “on a case-by-case basis”.
However, in the Deep South state of Louisiana, the local Girl Scouts issued a memo claiming it would “serve girls only” – and citing “health and safety” concerns for its continuing ban on transgender girls.
It said: “In light of increased media attention regarding Girl Scouts on the national level, we wanted to reach out and share our council’s position on transgender youth.
“In November 2011,Girl Scouts Louisiana East’s Board of Directors re-affirmed our position of serving girls only… [and] affirmed that our program has not been designed to meet the specific needs of boys or transgender youth.”
“We understand and respect that there may be Girl Scout members who believe differently than we do, and appreciate that sensitive issues such as this can be determined at the local council level.
“The health and safety of our girls is our number one priority, and we strive to ensure a safe environment where all girls can learn to become their best selves. All girls, volunteers, and staff members of Girl Scouts Louisiana East are expected to live by the Girl Scout Promise and Law.”
The memo seems to imply that transgender girls are not really female, by claiming they would not be part of a “girls only” environment.
Both male and female adult volunteers are welcomed by the Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scouts are considered more accepting than the Boy Scouts, which has ties to the Mormon church and only lifted a ban on gay scouts in 2013.
A ban on gay adult volunteers remain in effect, though a New York troupe have openly defied it.