LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Is a Boy Scout still a Boy Scout when the scout is a girl?
That’s the question facing the Boy Scouts of America, which recently opened their ranks to gay and transgender boys and now faces another long-simmering membership dispute: a long-shot campaign to let girls join the BSA so they have a chance to earn the prestigious status of Eagle Scout.
While girls are allowed into some programs, they are still banned from competing for the Eagle Scout rank, joining Cub Packs or Scout Troops, joining the Boy Scout honor society, and earning Merit Badges.
Just last week, after the BSA announced it would admit transgender boys, the National Organization for Women issued a statement urging the youth organization to allow girls to join.
NOW cited the efforts of a 15-year-old New York City girl to emulate her older brother, who is an Eagle Scout.
The group released a statement urging the federal government to “prohibit any federal support for the Boy Scouts until the organization ends its discriminatory ban against girls.”
“The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t offer the opportunity for co-ed scouting for our youth,” said NOW New York President Sonia Ossorio. “By enabling young girls and boys to learn formative skills side-by-side, Scouting can best offer empowerment for all young people to develop into confident leaders.”
Boy Scouts communications director Effie Delimarkos said the BSA, which has some coed programs, views boys-only programs as a fundamental cornerstone of its mission.
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