Girl Scouts turn down $100K donation with transgender limits

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It’s not every day the Girl Scouts or any non-profit is handed a $100,000 pledge.

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington recently received the donation to help fund activities for girls participating in Girl Scouts.

But the gift came with a catch.

As transgender stories took over the airwaves in May, the Girl Scouts national organization clarified its long-existing policy allowing transgender girls to be Girl Scouts.

That may have inspired the donor to sending a note adding one condition: “Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls,” the note read, according to Seattle Metropolitan magazine’s Monday story. “If you can’t, please return the money.”

Girl Scouts of Western Washington council head Megan Ferland said she felt “very sad” after receiving that letter. But shortly thereafter, she says she decided to return the money.

“Girl Scouts is for every girl,” she told Seattle Metropolitan. “And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.”

The Western Washington council set up an Indigogo fundraiser to replace the donation, and the “Girl Scouts is #ForEVERYGirl” page has already raised more than $175,000 from more than 3,200 donors in one day and more than $249,000 from over 4,900 donors in two days.

Transgender girls are welcome in the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a stance that has attracted controversy from some quarters.

“Our position is not new,” Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA’s chief girl expert, told CNN in May. “It conforms with our continuous commitment to inclusivity.”

The Girl Scouts’ guidance on serving transgender girls, on its “Frequently Asked Questions” page, was actually made public four years ago.

“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,” states the FAQ. “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.”

In 2012, a Denver troop attracted accolades and criticism for allowing a transgender girl to join its troop. One side effect: Supporters encouraged people to buy more cookies from their local troops while opponents advised people to stay away from the treats.

The guidance has upset conservative religious groups, which claimed that the Girl Scouts would be allowing boys “who are confused” as members.

The American Family Association created an online petition on May 13 to ask the organization to restrict its membership to “biological girls.” It’s attracted more than 40,000 e-signatures as of June 30.

“This means girls in the organization will be forced to recognize and accept transgenderism as a normal lifestyle,” the petition reads. “Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk.”

On May 14, Archibald wrote a blog post citing Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low as the source of diversity that is essential to the organization.

“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 wrote.

However, the Girl Scouts USA will not make local councils admit anyone. The 112 Girl Scout councils across the country are all separate nonprofit organizations. That’s 2.8 million Girl Scouts — 2 million children and 800,000 adult members who are mostly volunteers.

“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,” Archibald wrote in her blog post.

What about their critics? “Luckily, we don’t serve our critics,” she told CNN. “We are proud to serve all girls.”

21 comments

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Thank goodness Park City provided two non-gender specific restrooms in their high school for transgendered students. Trying to force people to chose between using a men’s or a women’s bathroom is so ….. unconstitutional.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Actually it doesn’t bother me Aaron but apparently it did bother someone in Park City. Fox 13 Utah reported that “Park City High School now has two non-gender specific restrooms”. My understanding is that they are for the transgendered students with unspecified phobias.

    • Jayman

      I’m very disappointed in the girls scouts! Most certainly not an organization who has the best interest of these little girls, rather a group of spineless leaders afraid to stand up for what they know to be right regardless of political and popular backlash!

      • Casey

        Yes, telling the world that the girl scouts will include EVERY girl is complete EVIL. Certainly not in anyone’s best interest to include everyone. How dare they!!!!!

    • Matt

      The Girls Scouts is a loser program and their numbers are declining. Thank goodness! The American Heritage Girls is the best option for young girls out there. Those that support the GS are just going along with corrupt societal norms or are too stupid to understand what is really going on with that program.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      A bigot SOBU is “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions”. Are you a bigot SOBU, or is it only other people that can be bigots?

  • ANOTHERBOB

    An article in the New York Daily News says “The cookie is crumbling: Girl Scouts face financial troubles, declining membership”. Too bad. They used to be such a respected organization.

  • JEWLZZZ

    C’MON LETSBEHONEST
    Neighbor girl got herself pregnant, gave up her baby and decided she was a lesbian. Tried that for a couple of years before meeting another stud and getting pregnant again. I think she likes boy scouts more than she does girl scouts.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Folks like SOBU think people who believe girls should be girls, boys should be boys, and who stand up for what Mother Nature intended are bigots. Sorry SOBU but in this confused and mixed up world the majority of us still trust the doctor who proclaimed our $ex at the time of birth.

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