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Wyoming Valley Civil Rights Advocates Praise Boy Scouts New Transgender Rules

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WILKES-BARRE -- Many civil rights advocates in the Wyoming Valley are praising the Boy Scouts of America's decision to allow transgender boys to join as a giant leap forward.

The new policy takes effect immediately. It comes following new transgender-friendly membership policies in the Girl Scouts from just a few years ago.

"Times are changing," said Mark Barbernitz of the Boy Scouts of America NEPA Council.

"It seems like it's the right thing to do, to make a decision to get ahead of this issue," he added.

"We are so happy that the Boy Scouts of America have taken this step. This is a really proud day for them and for the country," said Kelly Novakowski of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance.

Novakowski said the new policy opens the door for transgender youth to feel more comfortable to become a scout.

"I think that people will feel confident to send in that application, know that they won't be questioned," she said.

Enrollment in the Boy Scouts of America has been on the decline in recent years, both nationally and here in our area. Officials hope the new policy also attracts new members.

"We need to stay relevant with the times. We're working on getting our membership back. We currently serve three million nationwide," Barbernitz said.

The NEPA Rainbow Alliance says it will help the B.S.A. if it needs it.


  • DCV

    I am appalled by the sheer ignorance and stupidity of these comments. Not surprised that people in little ol’ NEPA don’t understand the concept of gender identity. How about picking up a book? I know your great leader tRump doesn’t like to read, but let me tell you, it’s not such a bad thing. You may actually learn something and not sound so idiotic spewing out your nonsense. As a mental health professional who has worked with transgendered youth, I can tell you it is in fact a real thing, and hateful comments like the ones I see here are what leads many of these kids to suffer severe depression and anxiety, and even attempt suicide. A little understanding goes a long way. I applaud the BSA for their new policy.

  • john williams

    Girls were already allowed in the Boy Scouts, they could join and do all the same things as part of a Venturing Crew attached to a Troop. Is this more of an unknown determination of what you are or who you are, and you need to use the Scouts as a means of figuring it out?? I genuinely don’t understand the issue here. Can someone enlighten me?

  • LLoyd Schmucatelli

    I think the biggest question we have to ask ourselves is “Where do we draw the line?”

    This nonsense stops at my front door. It also stops with my kids.

  • Lloyd schmucatelli

    What about age discrimination? What if a 60 year old catholic neo-nazi Jewish Asian man who prefers to wear women’s underwear wants to join?

    Are you going to turn him down? Why fair is fair, right?

  • WarningFakeNews

    Fortunately, freedom of association is still with us. This includes the freedom not to associate, should one choose that.

  • FracingA

    “Times are changing”
    That does not mean you get on board. True genuine, traditional values & principles do not have to change. Just because the population has spiked due to all the wrong people breeding, it does not mean that normal folks are okay w/any of it. We know that this stuff exists but it will certainly never be normal & should not be recognized as such. Membership will not rise from this decision as it’s base along w/new members will fold.

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