“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 says.

The Boy Scouts of America will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said it made the decision based on states and communities changing how gender is defined.

“For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organisations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs,” spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in a statement. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”

Rausch said the enrollment decision goes into effect immediately.

A transgender child in Secaucus, New Jersey, was asked late last year to leave his Scout troop after parents and leaders found out he is transgender.

The Boy Scouts have been at the centre of recent social changes with policy shifts in recent years. In 2013, the group ended its ban on openly gay members and in 2015, it ended its ban on openly gay leaders.

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