The following comes from a November 22 New York Times article by Julie Turkewitz:
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Five girls wearing makeshift scout uniforms stood before top Boy Scout brass this month and made an announcement: We want in.
In a year in which gender roles in traditional American institutions have undergone major changes and challenges, a fight in Northern California over joining the Boy Scouts is among the most recent points of contention. These girls — the latest of many over the decades who have sought to become Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts instead of Brownies and Girl Scouts — say they would rather be camping and tying knots than selling cookies.
And they say shifting attitudes are on their side: Bathrooms are going unisex in deference to transgender people, the Supreme Court has redefined marriage to include same-sex couples, and even the Boy Scouts have softened their stance on gay scouts and scout leaders.
In this liberal-minded community, about two hours north of San Francisco, a group of girls ages 10 and 13 who have named themselves the Unicorns want to formally join the Boy Scouts, the 105-year-old organization that has long considered itself the cradle of American male leadership. None of them want to be boys — they just want to play like them.
But they face stiff legal obstacles: Among other factors, Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination by sex, carves out an exception for the Boy Scouts, allowing them to exclude members based on gender.
The Unicorns began to consider themselves Boy Scouts last fall, after they enrolled in a skills-building course, Learning for Life, that is affiliated with the organization and is offered to boys and girls. Several Unicorns had tried the Girl Scouts but found the experience too sedate: rest time and whispering instead of playing tag and lighting fires.
This fall, at least one person contacted top Boy Scout officials to report that the girls here had invaded campouts and competitions. On Oct. 1, the local Boy Scout council barred the girls from participating in further activities, telling them that they had gone beyond the lessons permitted in the life-skills program and that the organization’s charter made it clear that “Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Varsity Scouting are for boys.”
A meeting was called for November 13 to help the Unicorns understand the decision. It was there, at the local Boy Scout headquarters, that the girls confronted leaders and asked to be made full-fledged Boy Scouts.
The response from the men on the panel was swift: They would forward the girls’ requests to the national office, but said they had no local authority to admit them.
“Those programs have all been written for squirrelly little boys that run around and get crazy,” said Mr. Mangus, the local Boy Scout official, adding that he thought the curriculum would need to be rewritten if girls were admitted.
At the same time, Mr. Mangus said, “the Boy Scouts are not daft about what’s happening in society.” As far as admitting girls in the future, he said, “Who knows?”