The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Boy Scouts To Begin Accepting Transgender Boys

(Reuters) – The Boy Scouts of America said on Monday the group would begin accepting transgender boys, bucking its more than a century-old practice of using the gender stated on a birth certificate to determine eligibility.

“Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application,” Boy Scouts of America communications director Effie Delimarkos said in an emailed statement.

Delimarkos cited shifting definitions of gender under state laws, which can “vary widely from state to state,” in explaining the change.

She said that while the organization offers programs for all youths, its Cub and Boy Scout programs are specifically for boys. The change will allow children to apply even if male is not listed on their birth certificate.

Advocacy group Scouts for Equality applauded the move: “This is another historic day for the Boy Scouts of America. The decision to allow transgender boys to participate in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts is an important step forward for this American institution.”

In 2013, the Boy Scouts voted to lift a ban on openly gay scouts that had been in place throughout the organization’s history after gay rights advocates gathered petitions with more than 1.8 million signatures in support of ending the ban.

Support also came from some of the biggest American churches, including the Mormons and the Methodists, two of the largest scouting sponsors in the United States.

Two years later, the organization lifted its blanket ban on gay adult leaders after its president, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, called the ban “unsustainable” in the face of numerous lawsuits challenging the policy on grounds of discrimination.

The Boy Scouts of America, whose stated mission is to prepare youth for life and leadership, has nearly 2.3 million members between the ages of 7 and 21 and roughly 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the country, according to its website.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Bill Rigby)

IMAGE: A Boy Scouts of America uniform is pictured in San Diego. REUTERS/Staff

Conservatives Bristle As Trump Backs Off Clinton Prosecution

(Reuters) – Some of Donald Trump’s strongest conservative supporters are voicing anger and disappointment at the president-elect’s comments on Tuesday that he might back off his campaign pledge of pursuing a prosecution of former rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump, in an interview with the New York Times, took a more compassionate tone toward the Democratic presidential nominee than during his campaign, when he talked about a possible criminal investigation of the opponent he dubbed “Crooked Hillary” if he won the White House.

Chants of “Lock her up” echoed throughout his campaign rallies, with Trump supporters angrily alleging corruption related to her use of a private email server while secretary of state and to foreign contributions received by the Clinton Foundation charity.

“She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious,” Trump told the Times, adding that launching an investigation was “not something I feel very strongly about.”

Conservatives who had reveled in the possibility of a Clinton prosecution were not pleased.

Breitbart News, the outlet once led by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, published a story on Tuesday under the headline, “Broken Promise: Trump ‘Doesn’t Wish to Pursue’ Clinton email charges.”

Writer and commentator Ann Coulter also balked at the news, tweeting: “Whoa! I thought we elected (Trump) president. Did we make him the FBI, & (U.S. Department of Justice)? His job is to pick those guys, not do their jobs.”

She added no president should block “investigators from doing their jobs.”

Radio personality Rush Limbaugh asked the 2 million people who like his Facebook page for reaction and received more than 2,000 responses, many of which were livid.

“Donald J. Trump, I am hearing that you will not be pursuing Hillary email scandal and pay-to-play. If that is the case, you just proved to me and America that laws are for the poor people. That Lady Justice is not blind. That you are no different than the swamp you want to drain. If true, you have just spit in my face and so many others,” Facebook user Donald Marks wrote.

Some Republicans have backed the shift, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a close Trump adviser, who told reporters on Tuesday that while he would have supported an investigation, Trump had to make a “tough choice.”

“There is a tradition in American politics that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you,” Giuliani told ABC News.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Cooney)

IMAGE: Florida delegate Henry Allen carries a Lock Her Up sign through the Quicken Loans Arena at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)