Cookies support Girl Scouts, LGBT rights

Courtney Wittekind Jan 23, 2012
Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

With spring comes an assortment of seasonal icons — soft rains, blooming flowers, and (eventually) warmer weather. But the best of these seasonal markers are those that are edible: fall ushers in the pumpkin pie, winter brings the sale of candy canes, and spring marks Girl Scout cookies and their ever-cheerful, badge-bearing band of young marketers. This year, however, in addition to a sweet tooth, I’ll be counting gender equality as my motivation for tracking down extra boxes of Thin Mints come spring.

While the Girl Scout cookie has long faced opposition from those concerned with health, the cookie faces a tougher, more politically charged battle this year. The Girl Scouts of America have been bombarded by protests in response to a Colorado troop’s October decision to admit a 7-year-old transgender child into its troop. Bobby Montoya was born with male genitalia, but has identified as female since age two. Yet when the request came to join the local Girl Scouts chapter, panic broke out. Initially, the Girl Scouts of Colorado rejected Bobby, but after a national outcry, it reversed its decision and stated in a press release, “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

The decision to admit a transgender child quickly sparked an uprising, especially among conservative groups. Most prominently featured in the media is the response of a 14-year-old Californian Girl Scout who represents a group calling itself honestgirlscouts.com. In a video posted on YouTube, the girl calls for a complete boycott of Girl Scout cookie purchases during this year’s sales. The girl then invites fellow scouts and other supporters to visit the group’s website, which features accusations of the Girl Scouts of America’s “liberal-progressive” beliefs which, in addition to supporting LGBT rights, also evidently approves of abortion rights, Planned Parenthood, and radical activism.

With this swell of controversy descending just as Girl Scouts nationwide kick off their cookie campaigns, cookie sales will certainly be pointed to as proof of how the Girl Scouts should deal with issues of gender equality and acceptance in the future. I, for one, would hate to see cookie sales drop this year. Instead, I encourage those who support the Girl Scouts’ decision to buy as many cookies as they can fit in their cupboards — because who doesn’t like the sweet taste of victory?

You can find the closest cookie sales to your location via the Girl Scouts’ “Cookie Finder” at girlscoutcookies.org.