The Boy Scouts of America has agreed to pay $18,000 to a 9-year-old transgender boy who was originally barred from joining a Cub Scout pack in New Jersey.
Last year, Joe Maldonado, then 8, joined a troop in the Secaucus Cub Scout chapter, but was kicked out after a few weeks because he was born female. The Boy Scouts of America had, at the time, a requirement mandating that only children assigned "male" at birth could be in the group. The Boy Scouts lifted their ban on transgender boys in January, but not before Joe's mother, Kristie Maldonado, told reporters she intended to file a discrimination complaint with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety.
Joe joined an Essex County Cub Scout pack last month, and yesterday the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America agreed to award him the $18K, as part of the discrimination complaint. They also issued him an official apology, and a spokeswoman with the Boy Scouts of America said they are "happy to welcome Joe and the Maldonado family back into the Scouting community." She added, "Moving forward, the BSA will continue to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible."
Joe, meanwhile, told reporters about getting let back into the Cub Scouts: "This is fun; I'm so proud... I am accepted, and I'm actually in Boy Scouts."