Republish
Reprint
Joe Maldonado (File photo)
Joe Maldonado (File photo)

In a reversal from previous policy, the Boy Scouts of America announced Monday they will now allow transgender youth to enroll in its programs, The Washington Post reported. 

Previously the organization only accepted youth based on the gender listed on their birth certificate, but in a video message the organization's chief executive, Michael Surbaugh, said it will now make decisions based on the gender listed by the parent on enrollment applications. 

Transgender boy tells his story after being rejected by Cub Scouts 

"We realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient," Surbaugh said in the message. "Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently than society did in the past. And these new laws vary widely from state to state."

The decision comes days after a Secaucus woman, Kristie Maldonado, said she would file a discrimination complaint on behalf of her transgender son, Joe, who was banned from his local Cub Scout pack. 

Joe. a third-grader born Jodi, began identifying as a boy in 2015. 

The complaint, which was expected to be filed this week with the state Department of Law and Public Safety, would argue that, as a place of "public accommodation, the Scouts could not legally bar Joe based on his "gender identity or expression." 

Paul Milo may be reached at pmilo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter@PaulMilo2. Find NJ.com on Facebook.