Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman shown in March.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman shown in March. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman on Friday filed legislation to bar transgender women from participating in girls and women's sports on county property, weeks after a judge struck down his executive order that would have had the same effect.

Blakeman, a Republican, seeks to bar the county parks department from issuing permits for sporting events that allow “athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls to include biological males as competitors.”

Men's or boys events could include transgender male athletes under the legislation. 

The bill proposes a new section of county administrative code, Title 90, regulating “Fairness for Women and Girls in Sports.”

The bill marks Blakeman’s second bid to block transgender females from participating in girls and women's sports at more than 100 ballfields, swimming pools, basketball courts and other county sites. Blakeman argues transgender girls and women hold an unfair competitive advantage.

Opponents of the measure say the law is discriminatory and violates state and federal human rights laws.

On May 11, State Supreme Court Justice Francis Ricigliano voided the executive order, saying Blakeman went “beyond the scope of his authority.” Ricigliano, a Republican, said there was no “corresponding legislative enactment” giving Blakeman the authority to issue his order. The county is appealing. 

Ricigliano's ruling came in response to a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Long Island Roller Rebels, a female flat track roller derby team. They argued the order violated the state's Human Rights Law and Civil Rights Law, as well as guidance from the state Education Department.

Gabriella Larios, a staff attorney with the NYCLU, said in a statement Friday: “It is abundantly clear that any attempt to ban transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports is prohibited by our state’s anti-discrimination law. It was true when we successfully struck down County Executive Blakeman’s transphobic policy and it is true now.”

Blakeman representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

The New York State Supreme Court affirmed transgender rights in 1977, when it allowed Renee Richards, a transgender female athlete, the right to compete with other women at the U.S. Open, said Jami Taylor, a political science professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Taylor said Blakeman was likely to fail in his effort to regulate gender in sports in New York.

“He’s in the wrong battlefield,” Taylor told Newsday. “The State Supreme Court in the 1970s already dealt with trans people in athletics under the state’s nondiscrimination policy.”

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Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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