A Washington state Girl Scouts chapter says it returned a $100,000 pledge from a donor who asked that the money not be used to help any transgender girls in the program.
Megan Ferland, council head of Girl Scouts of Western Washington, said the request from the donor, who she did not identify publicly, came in May, after news of Caitlyn Jenner's transition made headlines.
"Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls," the note read, according to a report in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. "If you can't, please return the money."
U.S. & World
Girl Scouts of America has allowed transgender girls in their program over the years, with the belief that every girl should be allowed to serve. That stance was cited when the organization announced the would not be accepting the money.
"Girl Scouts is for every girl," Ferland told Seattle Metropolitan. "And every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to."
The donation would have covered nearly a quarter of the council's annual fundraising goal — enough to send 500 girls to summer camp. An Indiegogo online fundraiser set up to recoup the lost cash, called Girl Scouts is #ForEveryGirl," has generated more than $250,000 in donations from 5,000 people.
The Girl Scouts made headlines four years ago when the organization took to explicitly stating its stance on transgender scouts on its website,saying if the parents and community recognize the child as a girl and she is treated as one, she is allowed to have a spot in Girl Scouts.
That belief drew outrage from religious-centered organizations, with responses ranging from boycots of Girl Scout cookies to demands that Girl Scouts only allow “biological” girls in the program.
"Luckily, we don't serve our critics," Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA's chief girl expert told CNN. "We are proud to serve all girls."