HACKENSACK, N.J. – Garden State Equality, the statewide advocacy and education organization for the LGBTQ community, is calling for the Boy Scouts of America to reinstate a transgender 8-year-old Secaucus, New Jersey, boy into his Cub Scout pack after he was barred a month after joining.
Joe Maldonado was banned from his pack after parents complained to Boy Scout officials, as The Record was first to report earlier this week.
The petition, which has already collected more than 1,000 signatures, asks people to sign it in support of the child and asks the Boy Scouts to “accept transgender boys as boys, and treat Joe and other transgender kids with the respect all children deserve.”
Garden State Equality hopes to get 2,500 signatures on the petition, according to the organization’s website.
The petition says that the Boy Scouts’ policy on accepting gay youth should be extended to include transgender boys. The organization says New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination should apply in instances such as this.
The recent outcry against the Boy Scouts for barring the transgender boy from his pack comes on the heels of the organization’s emerging from a period of turmoil. The group saw a loss in members and corporate sponsors before it overturned a controversial ban against gay Scouts and leaders. The Boy Scouts did not address the issue of transgender Scouts or leaders when those changes were made.
The more than 1,000 people who have signed the petition are not the only ones supporting the child. Cub Scout leaders from as far as the United Kingdom and as close as South Orange have reached out to the child’s mother and offered to have the boy join their packs.
“I and my den leaders are actively expressing our objections to the local offices’ decision,” said Kyle Hackler, the leader of Cub Scout Pack 20 in Maplewood and South Orange. “We all want Joe to join our pack.”
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