Hurray for the Girl Scouts!
Even as the Boy Scouts of America continue struggling to come up with non-discriminatory practices, the Girl Scouts of America are announcing a huge change in policy:
Q: What is Girl Scouts' position on serving transgender youth?
A: Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority. That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.
Q: How does Girl Scouts' position on serving transgender youth apply to situations involving camping or volunteers?
A: These situations are rare and are considered individually with the best interests of all families in mind. Should any girl requiring special accommodations wish to camp, GSUSA recommends that the local council makes similar accommodation that schools across the country follow in regard to changing, sleeping arrangements, and other travel-related activities. With respect to volunteers, Girl Scouts welcomes both male and female adult volunteers and has developed appropriate safeguards regarding roles and responsibilities to ensure that girls receive the proper supervision and support.
Huzzah! Of course, this has the so-called family values types up in arms:
"This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle," the petition states. "Boys in skirts, boys in makeup and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk."
"Adults are willing to experiment on our kids—both the boys who are confused and the girls who will wonder why a boy in a dress is in the bathroom with them," the petition adds.
Hat tip to Patheos.com, which notes:
Yet there is no data from any organization that has ever shown transgender girls put anyone at any risk. This is nothing but a popular scare tactic used by the Christian Right into scaring organizations and lawmakers into bullying trans people and ending legal protections or inclusion.