8-year-old trans boy suing Boy Scouts after being kicked out for gender identity
An eight year old boy and his family are suing the New Jersey Boy Scouts’ Council after he was kicked out of the troop for his gender identity.
Joe Maldonado and his mother Kristie are claiming that the council violated state law against discrimination.
The young boy, who has identified as a boy since 2, was accepted into the scouts in October but kicked out the following month after parents allegedly complained about his trans status.
Mrs Maldonado had been asked to prove her son was a boy in a phone call from the group.
Parents of other children in the group had complained that there was a trans child in the class. Following the complaints Scout officials took the decision to ban the child.
Effie Delimarkos, a spokeswoman for Boy Scouts of America, said that 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 7 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 that scouting “teaches its youth members and adult leaders to be respectful of other people and individual beliefs.”
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The Boy Scouts have previously said they would allow trans children to join coeducational programmes, but gender specific programmes such as the Cub and Boy scouts would be off limits.
“Their child does not meet the eligibility requirements to participate in this programme, so Boy Scouts of America (BSA) leadership reached out to the family to inform them and share information on alternative programmes,” Delimkarkos added.
Kristie Maldonado said: “I was in shock, upset. The kids didn’t have a problem it was all his friends, he was having fun.
“Not one of the kids said, “You don’t belong here,’” she added.
“I don’t know, it’s just not fair,” 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.”