SECAUCUS, N.J. - The Boy Scouts of America banned an 8-year-old boy because he is transgender, his family says.
Joe Maldonado, who was initially born a girl named Jody, now identifies as a boy, according to WCBS.
Like many parents, mother Kristie Maldonado signed Joe up for the Cub Scouts in New Jersey. She says she made it clear that he was transgender when she signed him up.
A month later, Kristie received a call from the Northern New Jersey Council of Boy Scouts' head counsel saying Joe could no longer be a part of the organization.
“It made me mad," he said, according to North Jersey.com. “I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”
The Boy Scouts of America endured several years of controversy surrounding a ban on gay scouts and leaders. They lifted the ban in 2015.
But a statement by organization spokesperson Effie Delimarkos says transgender children are a completely different issue.
“No youth may be removed from any of our programs on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” she said. “Gender identity isn’t related to sexual orientation.”
For Joe, it's just about being able to spend time with his friends.