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Nassau County bans transgender women from competing on women's teams

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman's office

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has signed an executive order to ban transgender women from playing on women’s sports teams at county facilities.

The order bans girls' and women's sports teams at all levels — youth, college and professional — from using Nassau County athletic facilities unless the teams agree to keep transgender women off the roster.

Blakeman said he made the decision after speaking with parents and cisgender female athletes — who compete as the gender they were assigned at birth.

“There is a movement for biological males to bully their way into competing in sports, or leagues, or teams that identify themselves or advertise themselves as girls or female or women's teams or leagues. We find that unacceptable,” Blakeman said.

The ban is effective immediately.

Ahead of signing the executive order, Blakeman repeatedly referred to transgender women playing in women’s leagues as “bullies" during a press conference.

“Whether it's the WNBA, whether it's college, whether it's high school, whether it's just a community league, it is an unfair advantage for someone who is a biological male to compete against a biological female,” Blakeman said. “I view this as a form of bullying, and it will not be tolerated.”

Blakeman said the ban is only for transgender girls — transgender boys will be allowed to compete against cisgender boys.

“A biological male can play on an all-boys or men's team or league and a co-ed team or league,” Blakeman said. “That's what those groups were made for.”

Blakeman said he “knows of no policies” in New York state that would strike the order down.

But David Kilmnick, the president of the Long Island nonprofit L.G.B.T. Network, said the executive order was illegal.

“New York state law explicitly protects the rights of transgender individuals, ensuring their equal participation in all aspects of life, including sports,” Kilmnick said. “Attempting to enforce such a ban would be futile and legally untenable.”

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.