The Cub Scouts, a division of the Boy Scouts of America, have come under heavy scrutiny after an 8-year-old child was banned from being a member because of gender identity. Eight-year-old Joe Maldonado was born as a girl named Jodie, but identifies as a boy. He has been living as a boy for over a year. Joe was removed from a New Jersey Cub Scouts troop because he is transgender. According to Joe’s family they are not the only ones who have complained about the situation. The parents of other scouts have also complained, reports CBS News.
Kristie Maldonado, Joe’s mother, states that the Cub Scouts knew her son was transgender when he signed up. Maldonado says that at first. she thought that her daughter was just a tomboy. She said it took her a couple of years. “I didn’t realize it,” Maldonado said.
When Joe was asked why he wanted to be part of the Cub Scouts so bad he said it was because all of his favorite friends were in the pack. Joe joined Cub Scout Pack 87 in New Jersey. However, he was recently told he could no longer be a member because he was born a girl. Maldonado said that kicking Joe out of the Cub Scouts now because they all knew Joe when he was Jodi makes no sense.
The Boy Scouts of America released a statement defending its actions. “No youth may be removed from any program on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” but the statement added that “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation,” reports RAW Story.
Joe has been receiving messages of support from around the globe, his mother shared. She says that he has received so much support that it has become overwhelming. A Cub Scout leader from the United Kingdom sent Joe a message stating that he would love for Joe to be part of his troop, reports North Jersey.
The Cub Scouts of America said that its organization is for those who are listed as being born a boy on their birth certificates. It shared that it did offer Joe and his family alternate programs that are co-ed. Joe’s mother states that they are not searching for a different group, but what she wants is an apology to her son.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy Cub Scouts/Facebook