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Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts over gender neutral name change

Eagle Scouts Ceremony of Honor (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim/RELEASED)
November 12, 2018
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Last week, the Girl Scouts organization filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts over their plan to go gender neutral.

The 50-page lawsuit accused the Boy Scouts of trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition, the New York Post reported.

In Oct. 2017, the Boy Scouts of America announced a rebranding plan that would rename them “Scouts BSA” and use the tagline, “Scout Me In.”

Under their new name, Scouts BSA will allow girls to join their organization beginning in February.

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The Boy Scouts said that both genders “will earn merit badges, go camping and work toward the Eagle Scout Award.”

The Girl Scouts, which has been around for 107 years, contends that the rebranding will cut into their market share, RT News reported.

In the lawsuit, the Girl Scouts are asking for a court order that would block The Boy Scouts from using “any variation” of the words “scout,” “scouts,” “scouting” and “Scouting BSA” for marketing purposes unless those words have an “inherently distinctive or distinguishing term appearing immediately before it.”

The Girl Scouts also asked the Boy Scouts to extract recently filed trademark applications for “Scouts BSA” and “Scout Life.” Additionally, they contend that the move by the Boy Scouts has caused confusion.

MSN reported that parents in Minnesota who were trying to enroll their daughters were inaccurately told the two groups had merged. In Indiana and South Dakota, other parents actually signed their daughters up for the Boy Scouts by mistake.

On Tuesday, the Boy Scouts said they were going over the Girl Scouts’ suit.

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The Boy Scouts said, “Our decision to expand our program offerings for girls came after years of requests from families who wanted the option of the BSA’s character- and leadership-development programs for their children — boys and girls. We applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities.”

The Girl Scouts President, Kathy Hopinkah, sent a letter in Aug. 2017 stating the Boy Scouts were “surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents.”

She claimed this was an attempt to bring up the numbers of an organization that is on the decline.

Hopinkah accused the Boy Scouts of harassment and making “disparaging and untrue remarks about Girl Scout programming.”

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