Boy Scouts will allow transgender children into programs

A Boy Scout salutes the American flag at camp Maple Dell on July 31, 2015 outside Payson, Utah. The Mormon Church is considering pulling out of its 102 year old relationship with the Boy Scouts after the Boy Scouts changed it's policy on allowing gay leaders in the organization. Over 99% of the Boy Scout troops in Utah are sponsored by the Mormon Church. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America says it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys-only programs.

The organization announced Monday that it had made the decision to base enrollment in boys only programs on the gender a child or parent lists on the application to become a scout. The organization had previously held a policy that relied on the gender listed on a child’s birth certificate.

In 2014, the Boy Scouts began allowing openly gay scouts. In 2015, they began allowing gay troop leaders after a gay Seattle scoutmaster made headlines.

A spokeswoman for the organization says it made the decision based on states and communities changing how gender is defined.

A transgender child in Secaucus, New Jersey, was asked late last year to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender.