Girl Scouts Defend Decision to Attend Donald Trump's Inauguration

Girl scouts
U.S. President Barack Obama talks with girl scouts camping overnight on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, June 30, 2015. The CEO of the youth organization said the group does not take political sides. Saul Loeb/Getty

The Girl Scouts of the USA has defended its decision to send its girls marching into Donald Trump's Inaugural Parade.

After the Republican's election campaign, which was fraught with claims of sexual assault against women and misogynistic rhetoric, critics denounced the group for participating in the event.

In The Guardian, New York writer Jean Hannah Edelstein said the organization should be boycotting the inauguration, not supporting it. Edelstein pointed to the group's aims to support girls "of courage and character" from all backgrounds, and asked how the motto aligned with Trump's campaign statements about women and Muslims and vice president-elect Mike Pence's statements opposed to transgender bathroom rights.

But Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO told Time magazine that "our legacy is one of uniting, not dividing." Acevedo pointed to the organization's non-partisan stance and history of marching in inauguration parades, and said around 75 girls would march at the event.

1/4 Being truly nonpartisan means that we keep our focus on the girls—girls who are every bit as diverse as the nation they represent

— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) January 19, 2017

2/4 It means we work to ensure that every girl has a home at Girl Scouts. It means we can no more turn our back on 75 girls

— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) January 19, 2017

3/4 who have chosen to participate in the inauguration than we can on the thousands across the country participating in the Women’s March

— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) January 19, 2017

4/4 on Washington the following day.

— Girl Scouts (@girlscouts) January 19, 2017