8-Year-Old Boy Rejected from Secaucus Pack Due to Gender Identity
Assemblywoman Mila Jasey issued the following statement Thursday to commend Maplewood Cub Scout Pack 20, which is petitioning the Boy Scouts of America in hopes of allowing 8-year-old Joe Maldonado to join the troop. Maldonado, a transgender boy, recently was told he no longer could participate in a Secaucus troop because he was born a girl:
“Among the values embodied by Scout Law are courteousness, kindness and friendliness, or being ‘a friend to everyone, even people who are very different.’ In embracing Joe Maldonado, Maplewood Cub Scout Pack 20 is a model not only for fellow Scouts but also for a world in which bias and bigotry are all too common.
“It’s sad to see a child who simply wanted to build pinewood derby cars and go on penny hikes rejected just for being who he is. What gives me hope, however, is that Pack 20 is proof that our society’s future will be brighter than its past.
“New Jersey is better than discrimination. This state is better than giving an 8-year-old any reason to believe that he is bad or wrong or less than anyone else. The leaders of Maplewood Cub Scout Pack 20 have reminded us of that.”