Boy Scouts finally allowing transgender scouts to join their ranks after more than a century

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

After more than 100 years of only allowing membership based on a child's birth certificate, the Boy Scouts of America said on Monday they've begun allowing membership based on gender identity, paving the way for transgender boys to join the scouting organization.


"For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs," the organization said in a statement posted online. "However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state."

The news comes after the Boy Scouts sparked controversy in late December for kicking a transgender boy out of his New Jersey Cub Scouts pack after allowing him to participate for about a month.

The decision is also another landmark in the Boy Scout's gradually opening up its policies to be more inclusive. In 2013, the organization lifted a ban on openly gay scout members and, two years later, begrudgingly lifted rules against openly gay scout leaders. The Girl Scouts have long had gender inclusive membership policies on the books, allowing any child that identifies as female to join up.