The New Jersey Boy Scouts’ Council is being sued after an 8-year-old boy was banned from the group because “he did not meet eligibility requirements”.
Joe Maldonado has identified as a boy since he was two, but was kicked out of Scouts after parents complained about his transgender status.
A spokeswoman for Boy Scouts of America - Effie Delimarkos - says membership is only granted to boys aged between 7 and 10.
“If needed we defer to the information provided for an individual’s birth certificate and their biological sex.”
She went on to say that no youth would be removed on the basis of their sexual orientation but that, “Gender identity isn't related to sexual orientation”.
Maldonado and his mother Kristie are now claiming that the Council violated state laws against discrimination.
Kristie says that she was in shock when she heard that her son had been kicked out.
“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 says.
In 2016, the Boy Scouts announced they would allow transgender children to participate in their co-educational programs, but not in boys-only groups such as Cubs and Scouts.
Maldonado says the decision was unjust.
“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.”
The news comes after UK Girl Guides announced a wholly inclusive membership policy, welcoming anyone who self-identifies as a girl or young woman.