New York Attorney General Letitia James Warns of Legal Action Against County’s Transgender Athlete Ban

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) requested on Friday that a Nassau County official immediately remove an executive order prohibiting transgender women and girls’ ability to participate in athletic events at county-run facilities, claiming it is “in clear violation” of state law.

“The law is clear: you cannot discriminate against someone based on their gender identity or expression. “We have no room for hate or bigotry in New York,” James said in a statement, referring to Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s executive order issued last week.

Blakeman’s edict, which forbids transgender girls from participating in athletic activities based on their gender identity at county-run facilities, is “transphobic and blatantly illegal,” according to James.

“Nassau County must immediately rescind the order, or we will not hesitate to take decisive legal action,” she said in a statement.

New York Attorney General Letitia James Warns of Legal Action Against County's Transgender Athlete Ban

Blakeman’s executive order, signed February 22 and effective immediately, defines an individual’s gender as their “biological sex at birth.” Local athletic teams, leagues, organizations, and programs must “expressly designate” participation based on the gender given at birth, and permits must be denied to those who enable transgender girls to compete with or against cisgender females.

Blakeman stated at a news conference last week that transgender athletes, regardless of gender identification, are still permitted to compete in all-boys or coed leagues around the county. The decree covers over 100 public places, including parks, baseball fields, basketball courts, swimming pools, and ice rinks.

In a cease and desist letter to Blakeman on Friday, James’ office ordered that the executive order be revoked within five business days.

“Failure to comply with this directive may result in further legal action,” Sandra Park, chief of the Civil Rights Bureau, stated in the letter.

According to Park’s letter, Blakeman’s executive order violates the state’s human rights law, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression in public accommodations, including those owned or maintained by a municipal government agency.

“These prohibited types of discrimination are exactly what the Order imposes on transgender women and girls participating in women and girls’ teams in the County, as well as teams, leagues, and other sports entities and organizations that welcome the participation of transgender women and girls, but which will have to discriminate against them to comply with the Order’s terms,” Park said in a statement.

The executive order, which only targets transgender women and girls, will increase scrutiny on female sports teams, according to Park, and may subject female athletes to “intrusive and inappropriate inquiries or verification requirements that will harm cisgender and transgender women and girls alike.”

Officials in at least two dozen states with comparable limitations on transgender athletes have struggled to implement them. Last year, officials in Florida considered tracking student-athletes menstrual cycles, but the state’s high school athletic association ultimately rejected the notion due to considerable outcry.

In Utah, a state school board member was censured last month after erroneously claiming in a Facebook post that a female kid in her district is transgender, resulting in a tidal wave of online threats and enhanced security at her school.

Blakeman said on Friday that he had no intentions to revoke his executive order, despite the state’s promise of legal action.

“In Nassau, we will continue to fight for women’s rights to be safe, secure, and compete on a level playing field,” he tweeted Friday on X, formerly Twitter.

Top New York Democrats, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, have condemned Blakeman’s executive action as dangerous and politically motivated. The ACLU of New York announced last week that it is considering “all options to stop it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *