AG Calls Transgender Sports Ban Illegal, Nassau Exec Hits Back

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has hit back at New York State Attorney General Letitia James over his recent transgender sports ban, saying it was done legally.
Long Island Press Photo

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has hit back at New York State Attorney General Letitia James over her cease-and-desist letter Friday that alleged the his recent transgender sports ban may be illegal.

James wrote in her letter that Blakeman’s executive order violates the state’s civil and human rights laws, citing the Supreme Court’s 2020 landmark decision establishing that gender identity discrimination constitutes unlawful sex discrimination. Blakeman responded in a news conference that because transgender females who were born male are still allowed to compete in boy’s, men’s, and co-ed sports, his executive order is not discriminatory.

“The executive order was very clear that biological males who are transgender would have other opportunities to compete; they would not be foreclosed from sports competitions in Nassau County, because I believe that would be illegal,” Blakeman said. “And I think that it does not reflect the welcoming attitude we have here in Nassau County, for people of any lifestyle. Women and girls are a protected class under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York. And we will protect women from bullying by transgender females who want to compete against biological females. It is no longer a level playing field.”

LGBTQ+ advocates and their allies blasted the county executive when he announced the trans ban last week.

“The law is perfectly clear: you cannot discriminate against a person because of their gender identity or expression,” James said in a written statement after the letter was delivered. “We have no room for hate or bigotry in New York. This executive order is transphobic and blatantly illegal. Nassau County must immediately rescind the order, or we will not hesitate to take decisive legal action.”

Blakeman also claimed that he has received several messages of support from within Nassau.

“We’ve heard from Bill Donohue, who’s the president of the Catholic League, who completely supports what we’re doing,” the county executive added. “I received my office received a phone call this past week from a woman who identified herself as a former athlete, she identified herself as a lesbian who was a lifelong Democrat, who said that she is 100%. behind what we’re doing.”

Despite this, one Nassau resident wasn’t buying Blakeman’s claims that banning transgender athletes from certain leagues is fair.

“I just ask that Blakeman and all the other officials to do the science, leave it to the scientists, leave it to the doctors, leave it to the experts,” Carolyn Mann, of East Meadow, told the Press while protesting outside Nassau’s capitol building. “I’ve been a personal trainer for over 25 years, I’ve trained transgender people, I’ve trained people of all age groups. The playing field is the same, up until puberty, and the boys get bigger and stronger – unless are taking hormonal treatments, then it levels out. It varies based on the age and the individual, but Blakeman needs to leave it up to the experts and not do this in a blanket fashion.”

Nassau County
Carolyn Mann protests Nassau County’s policy on transgender athletes outside of the Capitol building.