Court strikes down NY county transgender athlete ban

A New York state Supreme Court struck down a Long Island county’s transgender athlete ban on Friday.

The executive order, issued in February by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, was shot down by Judge Francis Ricigliano after ruling that he did not have the authority to deliver one.

“With the stated goal of protecting women’s and girls’ rights to compete athletically, the County Executive issued an Executive Order aimed at preventing transgender women from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics at Nassau County parks, despite there being no corresponding legislative enactment providing the County Executive with the authority to issue such an order,” Ricigliano said in the 13-page decision.

American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) New York chapter celebrated the decision.

“This decision sends a strong message that transphobic discrimination cannot and will not stand,” they said in a Friday post on social media platform X.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of Long Island Roller Rebels, the roller derby league that alleged discrimination based on gender identity.

Blakeman’s order from February would’ve denied permits to any women’s or girls’ sporting event with transgender athletes participating. State Attorney General Letitia James demanded that he repeal his order. In response, Blakeman filed a lawsuit that got tossed out.

Blakeman said the lawsuit was filed “On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of women and girls in Nassau County” to protect “women’s sports and ensure a safe environment for women.”

James said Friday’s decision was a “major victory.”

“In New York, it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of their gender identity or expression,” she said on X.

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