[1 July 2015] - The Girl Scouts of Western Washington have rejected a $100,000 donation after its donor insisted the money not be used for transgender participants.
The group's CEO, Megan Ferland, told Seattle Metropolitan Magazine that she and her associates were initially "thrilled" by the donation, which represented nearly a quarter of her council's annual fundraising goal and would pay to send 500 girls to camp. That jubilation was shattered, however, when Ferland received a letter from the donor.
"Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls," the letter read, according to CNN. "If you can’t, please return the money."
Ferland won't reveal the identity of the donor, calling their relationship with the Girl Scouts "complex," but called the decision to return the money a no-brainer.
"Girl Scouts is for every girl, and every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to," she told Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.
After the money was returned, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington launched an online fundraiser calling for donations to replace the amount in full.
"Our vision at Girl Scouts of Western Washington is that EVERY girl in our region — regardless of her race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or geographic location — is empowered to unleash her potential, build her future and transform her world," officials wrote on the fundraising page, which can be viewed here.
So far, over $165,000 has been raised.
This isn't the first time the Girl Scouts have come under fire for their inclusive policy regarding transgender girls. Earlier this year, the American Family Association launched a petition demanding the Girl Scouts rescind that policy, arguing that it would allow for "boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents" to participate, and put young girls at risk.
Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA's chief girl expert, explained to CNN that the policy simply "conforms with our continuous commitment to inclusivity." In a blog post that same month, Archibald noted that the scouts have "valued and supported all girls" not just "one type of girl," since the organisation was founded in 1912.