Boy Scouts welcome first transgender member

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MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (AP)- A New Jersey boy has become the first openly transgender member of the Boy Scouts.

The Record reports 9-year-old Joe Maldonado put on a Cub Scout uniform and joined Pack 20 in Essex County on Tuesday following a decision by Boy Scouts of America to allow transgender scouts. Maldonado, who was born a girl, was banned from a Cub Scout group in Secaucus.

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Boy Scouts allows transgender kids into boys-only programs

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DALLAS (AP) – A New Jersey woman whose son was asked to leave his Boy Scouts troop after leaders found out he is transgender said she has mixed emotions about the organization’s decision to allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys-only programs.

The Boy Scouts of America announced Jan. 30 that enrollment in its boys-only programs will now be based on the gender a child or parent lists on his application to become a scout, rather than the gender listed on the child’s birth certificate.

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One year after easing ban on gay adults, Boy Scouts doing well

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – There were dire warnings for the Boy Scouts of America a year ago when the group’s leaders, under intense pressure, voted to end a long-standing blanket ban on participation by openly gay adults. Several of the biggest sponsors of Scout units, including the Roman Catholic, Mormon and Southern Baptist churches, were openly dismayed, raising the prospect of mass defections.

Nearly 12 months after the BSA National Executive Board’s decision, the Boy Scouts seem more robust than they have in many years. Youth membership is on the verge of stabilizing after a prolonged decline, corporations which halted donations because of the ban have resumed their support, and the vast majority of units affiliated with conservative religious denominations have remained in the fold – still free to exclude gay adults if that’s in accordance with their religious doctrine.

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Boy Scout performs gay community service for Eagle Scout project

By : Wire Report
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Chicago (AP) – David Fite had already earned the 21 Boy Scout merit badges needed to earn the coveted rank of Eagle. But he still had to complete a community service project.

Now 16, he’d always been a gung-ho scout, dutiful, polite and committed. But he’d also been disappointed with the organization’s longstanding ban on openly gay scouts and leaders, so much so that he’d considered quitting. “I knew it wasn’t right,” said Fite, who has many family friends who are gay or lesbian – some of them honorary “aunts” and “uncles” who’ve given him money for camp and other scouting projects over the years.

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Boy Scouts ban on advocacy could hurt Utah group’s bid for troop

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America announced revised rules this week to emphasize a duty to God and ban political advocacy, leaving a Utah organizer who applied for a troop with gay leaders wondering if applications like his are targeted.

The changes come at the end of a turbulent year that saw the organization lift a blanket ban on gay leaders.

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Boy Scouts deemed too gay to attend conservative summit

By : Jeremy Williams
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Family Research Council Action held the Values Voter Summit, the premier political conference for evangelical Christians, in D.C. Sept. 25- 27, and while many conservative icons and Republican presidential candidates were invited to partake in the festivities, the Boy Scouts of America were deemed too liberal to be asked back, according to Mother Jones.

The Boy Scouts, who for many years were asked to present the American flag as part of the color guard, were replaced by Trail Life USA. This “outdoor adventure and character development group” was created last year as a Christian alternative because of the Boy Scouts inclusion of gay scouts and scoutmasters. Trail Life USA is run by John Stemberger, head of the anti-gay hate group Florida Family Policy Council (part of Focus on the Family).

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Words to Live by: Tops and Bottoms

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

The release of this issue of Watermark is a milestone for me. It marks the one-year anniversary since I officially became publisher of Watermark Media. The past 12 months have been an interesting ride – and, although I’ve been here more than a decade, I’ve recently learned a great deal about our staff, our readers and the big picture of LGBT news.

We were not without amazing stories this past year. It’s been a downpour of fantastic triumphs and outlandish setbacks. Here, on this special occasion, I will commemorate some moments that were tops in my book, as well as those populating the bottom of the barrel.

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Mormon church will continue to work with Boy Scouts

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church announced Oct. 26 it will maintain its longtime affiliation with the Boy Scouts despite the organization’s decision to allow gay troop leaders — preventing what would have been a thundering blow to the national association.

The decision from senior leaders of the Mormon church — the nation’s largest sponsor of Boy Scout units — came as somewhat of a surprise. The church said it was deeply troubled and considering other options when the Boy Scouts announced on July 28 that it would lift its ban on gay adult leaders, while allowing church-sponsored Scout units to continue excluding gay adults.

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South Carolina church drops Boy Scouts after gay leader decision

By : Wire Report
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LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) – A Presbyterian church in Lancaster says it is dropping its nearly 50-year association with the Boy Scouts after the organization agreed to allow gay leaders.

Multiple media outlets reported that First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church sent a letter to 63 scouts in a troop sponsored by the church saying that it ended its sponsorship of the Boy Scouts on July 31.

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7.16.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

“History never repeats, I tell myself before I go to sleep,” Split Enz once (or a million times) warned via the medium of a seemingly benign pop chorus. If only. History, including the mistakes in judgment that we frequently make, runs more like a pendulum than a direct line (see the Dark Ages, the Enlightenment and back again); in today’s direct-hotline-to-everything internet world, history doesn’t even require a context in order to regenerate itself in another, strikingly similar form when you least expect it. Does that sound heavy? It is.

Following our last issue’s verbal and visual parade around the historic marriage equality ruling from the Supreme Court – “We won!” – most of us around Watermark and in the community could feel the weight of what happens next and how we confront our continuing challenges in housing, the workforce, bullying, trans rights and the upcoming national elections. God, we’re downers sometimes.

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Gov. Scott Walker disagrees with Boy Scout decision, Democratic National Committee fights back

By : Staff Report
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had a few choice words for the Boy Scouts July 13.

During the announcement of his campaign to run for the Republican nomination for President, Walker expressed his opinion after the decision was made to end the ban on LGBT Scout Leaders. 

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Boy Scouts executive committee OKs ending ban on gay leaders

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK — The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has unanimously approved a resolution that would end the organization’s blanket ban on gay adult leaders and let individual scout units set their own policy on the long-divisive issue.

In a statement, the BSA said the resolution was approved by the executive committee July 10, and would become official policy if ratified by the organization’s larger National Executive Board at a meeting on July 27.

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