Nassau County bans transgender athletes from competing in women's sports at county-run facilities

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Friday, February 23, 2024
Transgender athletes now banned from female sports in Nassau County
Chantee Lans has the story.

MINEOLA, Nassau County (WABC) -- Nassau County has introduced a ban on transgender athletes competing in female competitive sports at county-run facilities.

The ban is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation and goes into effect immediately.

In signing the executive order, which put the ban into effect Thursday, County Executive Bruce Blakeman said the order only applies to female competitive sports, not co-ed sports, or in sports where biological females want to compete against males.

"This is not precluding anybody from participating in sports," said Blakeman. "What it is, it's identifying that there are women and girls who spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to excel and compete in their sports that are women's sports.... And it is an unfair advantage for someone who is a biological male to compete against a biological female."

Blakeman was joined by female athletes and Kim Russell, a former women's lacrosse coach reassigned at Oberlin College in Ohio after speaking out against transgender girls competing against biological females.

Any teams and leagues that do not agree to the ban will reportedly be barred from the county's 100 ballfields and athletic facilities outright.

New York LGBT Network called the executive order illegal.

"We are profoundly disappointed in Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman's announcement of an executive order aimed at banning transgender athletes from participating in sports teams that align with their gender identity," said Dr. David Kilmnick, the group's president and founder, in a statement. "This discriminatory move not only undermines the principles of inclusivity and fairness but also perpetuates harmful stereotypes and exclusion."

It wasn't long before word began to spread to the transgender youth in the neighboring Suffolk County.

"I guess that's really where it's hurtful," said an 18-year-old, who is transitioning from male to a female and is a former high school student athlete who played on a boy's fencing team. "It's just people don't care enough to do five minute of research to understand something about our community."

The former athlete told Eyewitness News that the medication used to lower testosterone and raise estrogen in the body levels the playing field.

When asked by Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans about the science behind transitioning, Blakeman said, "They can identify as what they want. This executive order is based on science, on the biology."

Nassau County Democrats released a statement on Blakeman "legislating little leagues:"

"Nassau County residents were falsely promised tax cuts and a fairer property assessment system from this county executive, instead they received a county executive who has been more interested in self promotion by spending public money on private golf outings, swanky galas, and unrelated press conferences - such as today's focus on legislating little leagues, which has nothing to do with his responsibilities."

ALSO READ | St. Patrick's Cathedral funeral service for transgender advocate sparks controversy

Sonia Rincon has the story from Midtown.


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