The Girl Scouts of the United States of America’s mission is to empower all girls, helping them to build courage, confidence and character. This also includes transgender girls. The organization’s stance on serving transgender girls isn’t particularly new—it was actually made public on the Girl Scouts’ FAQs page four years ago. Recently, this open-door policy has drawn criticism from conservative religious groups.

According to CNN, The American Family Association created an online petition asking GSA to restrict its membership to “biological girls,” claiming that the organization has “lost its moral compass.” “Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program,” the petition reads. “This change will put young innocent girls at risk.” In response, Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA’s chief girl expert, wrote a blog post expressing the Girl Scouts’ aim to value and support all girls since their 1912 inception. “There is not one type of girl. Every girl’s sense of self, path to it, and how she is supported is unique,” she wrote. “As we face a complex and rapidly changing 21st century, our nation needs all girls to reach their full potential, which has been our focus for more than 103 years.”

From the GSA FAQs page:

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.

I was a Girl Scout dropout. If only I knew how cool they really were back then.

Image via Getty.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.