Concerns are being raised over revelations that the Girl Scouts of America (GSUSA) is allowing boys who identify as girls to enroll as members.
On Thursday, the organization published a guest post by Andrea Bastiani Archibald, Ph.D., who it called the group’s “Chief Girl Expert.” In the brief post, entitled “The Meaning of ‘Serving All Girls,'” Archibald explained that GSUSA does not limit its definition of a girl to those who were born female.
“If a girl is recognized by her family, school and community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe,” she wrote. “Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case by case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority.”
“Our mission to build ‘girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place’ extends to all members, and through our program, girls develop the necessary leadership skills to advance diversity and promote tolerance,” Archibald said.
The information is also outlined in the FAQ section of the GSUSA website, stating that “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.”
But the revelation has raised concern with Christian groups nationwide, who already were wary of the Girl Scouts because of its alleged affiliation with Planned Parenthood, which GSUSA denies.
“This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle. Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program,” the American Family Association (AFA) writes on its website, where it is now collecting petition signatures against the move.
“[T]his latest thing is just one more slap in the face to Christian parents,” Penny Nance of Concern Women for America added on AFA’s radio show “Today’s Issues.” “[N]ow you don’t have to be a girl to be a member of Girl Scouts. You can just be questioning your gender or a boy who would like to be a girl.”
“I think this is a place, frankly, for the Church to be the Church and for people that are marginalized in society, for us to love them, but we also can’t lose our minds,” she said.
The AFA petition has so far gathered over 33,000 signatures.
“This policy undermines the trust that parents place in the GSA’s leadership to make wise decisions and the obligation the GSA has to protect their daughters,” it reads. “Please, stop listening to the few individuals who would use young boys as pawns in the culture war and destroy this organization in the process of advancing their social agenda.”
The Girl Scouts of America was founded in 1912 and its oath requires girls to pledge to “serve God and my country,” but permits girls to “substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word ‘God.'”