Davidson News

Davidson News

Nassau County’s Proposed Transgender Athlete Ban Sparks Controversy

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman introduced a contentious bill on Friday aimed at prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in women’s and girls’ sports at county-owned athletic facilities. This marks his second attempt to implement such a ban. Earlier this year, Blakeman issued an executive order to enforce the ban, but it was struck down by the Nassau County Supreme Court. The judge ruled that Blakeman lacked the authority to impose the ban without the county legislature’s approval. Undeterred, Blakeman is appealing the ruling and now seeks legislative backing.

Nassau County's Proposed Transgender Athlete Ban Sparks Controversy
Source: CNN

Legal Battles and Human Rights Concerns

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has been actively opposing Blakeman’s efforts. The NYCLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Roller Rebels, a Long Island roller derby team that includes trans women, arguing that the ban violates New York state human rights law, which prohibits discrimination based on gender identity. “Banning trans girls and women from participating in sports in Nassau County is something that New York state law simply doesn’t allow,” said Bobby Hodgson, NYCLU’s assistant legal director.

Blakeman, however, insists that the bill is not anti-transgender but rather pro-women and pro-girls. “I believe injecting yourself in a bullying manner onto a women’s team or girls’ team or a league is unconstitutional,” he stated. When reintroducing the ban as a bill, Blakeman emphasized, “If you are a girls’ team or a women’s team, and you identify yourself as that or you advertise yourself as that, you cannot have biological males playing in that competition at county facilities.” Blakeman argues that allowing “biological males” to compete against females is unfair due to inherent physical differences. “Biological males competing against females is unfair because biological males are bigger, faster, and stronger in most cases,” he added.

Community and Advocacy Response

The NYCLU has vowed to challenge the bill if it passes the legislature, and LGBT Network President David Kilmnick has voiced concerns about the broader impact of the proposal. “Whether this passes or not in the legislature, it has already sent the message out to the community that they don’t matter, to the transgender community,” Kilmnick said.

Nassau County's Proposed Transgender Athlete Ban Sparks Controversy
Source: CBS News

Juli Grey-Owens, executive director of Gender Equality New York, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the detrimental message the bill sends to marginalized groups.  Kilmnick also noted the timing of the bill’s introduction, pointing out its insensitivity. “To introduce this bill as we kick off Long Island Pride weekend — and Long Island Pride is this Sunday — just adds another level of cruelty and hatefulness to what was done today in Nassau County,” he said.

Leave a Comment