A divided America: Girl Scouts vs. Boy Scouts
Girl Scouts of USA, or GSUSA, has submitted a court complaint against Boy Scouts USA, who recently renamed themselves to Scouts BSA due to the male counterpart starting to drop the word 'boy' from its official branding.
The move was made by Scouts BSA as they have seen growing calls from families to allow girls to join their programmes alongside male siblings or friends. Girls are expected to start being accepted in 2019, with all members of Scouts BSA now being addressed as 'Scout' instead of the historic 'Boy Scout'.
GSUSA is looking for a court order to block Scouts BSA from using phrases such as 'Scout', 'Scouts', 'Scouting' or 'Scouts BSA' without an "inherently distinctive or distinguishing term appearing immediately before it." An example of a distinguishing term could simply be 'Boy'.
Although Scouts BSA did not immediately release a statement in response to the trademark infringement lawsuit, a later statement said the organization "[applauds] 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."
Within the official filing complaint made by GSUSA, the organization has stated that “Throughout the country, families, schools and communities have been told that GSUSA and BSA have merged, or even that GSUSA no longer exists. Parents interested in signing up for Girl Scouts programs have instead mistakenly signed up for the new girls’ programs offered by BSA.”
This isn't the first time that both of the scouting organizations have legally clashed, with a lawsuit being filed almost a century ago by Boy Scouts USA which attempted to disband Girl Scouts of USA due to them using generalised terms such as 'Scout'. The President of GSUSA at the time was Lou Henry Hoover, would later become First Lady, seeing the lawsuit dropped by Boy Scouts USA.