According to court documents, The Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America are going to issue an apology and pay $18K to a 9-year-old “boy” that was rejected from the Boy Scouts last year, after officials found out that Joe Maldonado was born a female.
After facing several cases and a lot of backlash from the liberal left, last year the National Boy Scouts of America has decided to accept transgender children into their groups. This means that 9-year-old Joe Maldonado, the first child to accuse the national group of wrongdoing, will be allowed to join a Boy Scouts chapter after all.
The agreement that was made was in response to a complaint filed by the boy’s mother, Kristie Maldonado, saying the group was participating in blatant discrimination.
The Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America has agreed to pay $18,000 and issue an apology to a 9-year-old transgender boy from Secaucus who was thrown out of a Cub Scout pack last year, according to administrative court documents.
Joe Maldonado was allowed back into Scouting earlier this year when the national office of the Boy Scouts issued a statement saying it would begin accepting transgender children. Last year, the Northern New Jersey Council, which is headquartered in Oakland, told Joe’s mother, Kristie Maldonado, that he could no longer belong to a Cub Scout pack in Secaucus because he had been born a girl.
The agreement made on Thursday was the result of a discrimination complaint filed by Kristie Maldonado with the state Division on Civil Rights.
“Joe is happy that they admitted they were wrong,” his mother said of the settlement.
Rebecca Fields, the Scout executive with the Northern New Jersey Council who signed the agreement, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Effie Delimarkos, director of communications for the Boy Scouts of America, issued a statement Thursday saying the organization is “happy to welcome Joe and the Maldonado family back into the Scouting community.”
“Moving forward, the BSA will continue to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible,” she said.
In addition to money and an apology, the Northern New Jersey Council agreed to create “revised policies and procedures” related to the “admission of transgender youth” based on the state’s law against discrimination and its “prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and expression.” The Division on Civil Rights required the council to distribute the rules to local councils in New Jersey, according to the agreement.
Maldonado’s story was first reported by The Record and NorthJersey.com in December. At that time, the Boy Scouts of America’s national office told The Record that it used information on birth certificates to determine eligibility for its programs for boys. At the time, advocates for gay and transgender people said it appeared to be the first time that the Boy Scouts had barred a transgender boy from being a member of the organization. The Boy Scouts had previously ended bans against gay Scouts and gay Scouting leaders.
The Boy Scouts reversed their stand on barring transgender boys about a month after Joe’s story came out, saying at the time that it would no longer use gender markers on birth certificates but would accept children based “on the gender identity indicated on the application.” That mirrors a policy that had been implemented by the Girl Scouts, a separate organization, years before.
Last month, Joe joined a Cub Scout pack in Maplewood, where parents approached his mother and told her that they were happy to have her son as a member. On Thursday, she said that Joe has been doing “phenomenal” as a member of the pack, which also serves South Orange, and that he recently went on a camping trip with the group.