Girl Scouts Reject Anti-Transgender Donation

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The Girl Scouts of Western Washington were more than thrilled when they recently received a $100,000 donation to fund activities for girls participating in the organization. However after seeing the note that came attached to the donation, the program made a hard call–to send the money back. According to Seattle Metropolitan magazine, the note read:

Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money

This past May the Girl Scouts of America clarified its  longtime policy of allowing transgender girls to be Girl Scouts. While that decision resulted in applause from some, it also garnered protest–presumably the people who sent the note and donation fall into that camp.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Western Washington Chapter, Megan Ferland, claimed to feel very sad after receiving the letter, but sent it back without any hesitation. She saidGirl Scouts is for every girl. And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.

With $100,000 covering nearly a third of the organization’s financial assistance program for the year, returning the gift was a big loss. So in an effort to replace the donation, the Western Washington council set up an Indigogo fundraiser, and received significantly more than the original donation. The “Girl Scouts is #ForEVERYGirl” page was able to raise more than $175,000 from more than 3,200 donors in one day, and more than $249,000 from over 4,900 donors in two days.

This is reportedly the second time the Western Washington Girl Scouts under the leadership of Megan Ferland have taken a stand to support transgender individuals, even though the organization has received some controversial feedback in regards to the issue. “Our position is not new,” Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA’s chief girl expert, told CNN. “It conforms with our continuous commitment to inclusivity.”

However, as much as various arms of the Girl Scouts organization have stood up for transgender individuals, Boy Scouts of America has taken a different road when it comes to acceptance of LGBTQ individuals. After long debate, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council was finally able to vote and ease a long-standing ban and allow openly gay young men in the organization in 2013. The policy took effect in January 2014. Although the vote was considered a milestone, there were some who were distraught with the outcome. There was talk of a new organization being formed, but that has yet to come to fruition. “This has been a challenging chapter in our history,” the BSA chief executive, Wayne Brock, said after the vote. “While people have differing opinions on this policy, kids are better off when they’re in Scouting.”

With a long road ahead, it seems both organizations are taking the necessary steps to ensure Boy and Girl Scouts of America include all people, although the Boy Scouts are clearly trailing behind the Girl Scouts somewhat. This move toward equality is certainly a good thing–whether it means extending membership or not taking donations that don’t go to further equality. 

Angel Idowu
Angel Idowu is a member of the Beloit College Class of 2016 and was a Law Street Media Fellow for the Summer of 2015. Contact Angel at



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