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Nassau County banning transgender athletes from competing in female sports at its facilities

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman Thursday signed an executive order banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports at county facilities. 

He said the ban is needed to be fair to “biologically female” athletes. The Nassau trans ban would not apply to coed or male sports, only female competitive sports.

There was instant outrage by trans rights advocates. 

Blakeman announces ban in female competitive sports

Critics blasted the order as unnecessary, divisive, illegal and hurtful to already at-risk kids. But Blakeman said it is common sense fairness and is about protecting women and girls. 

With a stroke of a pen, Blakeman banned transgender players, or what he calls “biological males,” from competing against girls at Nassau’s 100-plus county facilities, saying they have “an unfair advantage.”

“I see no reason why a biological male has to compete versus biological females. It makes no sense,” Blakeman said. “It’s a fairness issue, and frankly I interpret it as bullying on the part of biological males.” 

Blakeman said he respects all people, and male athletes can compete on male or coed teams, but he said this is about fairness. 

“A biological male is bigger, stronger and faster than a biological female. For a biological male to compete versus a biological female in tennis or basketball or golf is unfair,” Blakeman said. 

Watch Lori Bordonaro’s report

New York’s attorney general condemns transgender athlete ban in Nassau County


Under the order, sports leagues now must submit documentation of their players’ biological sex at birth. 

Blakeman said it’s not a partisan issue and claims it was promoted by parents’ concerns. 

He was applauded by girls and their moms.

“There is no training I could have engaged in to compete versus a biological male,” Nassau Legislator Samantha Goetz said. “Our biological differences are undeniable.”

“The abilities that a man has, it’s unfair. It’s standards that a female cant biologically get to,” Long Beach High School athlete Avery Graziosi said. 

Watch Carolyn Gusoff’s report

Nassau County bans trans athletes from competing in female sports


Parents and students defended the county executive at a high school basketball game in Rockville Center on Thursday night.

“If you are biologically a man, I don’t want to be playing a sport against you,” resident Madeline Hansen said.

“I wouldn’t want a boy competing against my daughter,” one parent said.

Former college lacrosse coach Kim Russell was disciplined for supporting so-called female-only sports. 

“Without having the ability to have single-sex competition, these young girls could lose opportunities,” Russell said. 

It has been a heated debate, amid record-breaking swimming achievements by college transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. Competitors protested. 

Now it’s the trans community protesting Blakeman, calling the order political, discriminatory and unnecessary. 

Trans community, supporters speak out against policy

“This is using public property to discriminate against a very vulnerable group of people who are already under attack,” Susan Gottehrer of the NYCLU said. 

“It’s incredible we are going through all this rigmarole for something that is not a big deal,” Juli Grey-Ownes of Gender Equality New York said. 

Critics say requiring girls who are transgender to compete on boys teams will keep them from playing altogether, and what’s needed is not division, but education. 

“Trans women are women,” trans activist Jennifer Molloy said. “The gender is in your brain. They think differently. They feel differently. They are women. They are women, they are not men.” 

“This is a matter of respect, human rights, about preventing suicide in the adolescent transgender population,” non-binary rights advocate Zoe Clandorf said. 

CBS New York’s Lori Bordonaro spoke to Dan, a former varsity fencer from Long Island who is now transitioning to become a woman. They didn’t want to show their face, but call the ban pathetic.

“It’s blatantly kind of just silly. I think it’s a really uninformed decision,” they said.

Dan says part of transition requires testosterone blockers, making it an even playing field.

“Pretty much it brings your testosterone levels down to the range of a cis woman. Therefore, after a while, you start to experience muscle atrophy,” they said.

Protesters gathered outside the county government’s main offices Thursday, calling the ban a political stunt and discriminatory.

“These are just kids — kids who want to play sports, kids who want to make friends,” said Katie Hawkland, with the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

Some, like Dan, wonder what message Blakeman’s transgender ban is sending to those in this county and nationwide.

“It’s a bit embarrassing on their part, really,” they said.

The NYCLU is considering all options to stop it.

Officials, local leaders react

“There is nothing lower than trying to score cheap political points by putting a target on the backs of some of our state’s most vulnerable people: Trans kids. New York has some of the nation’s strongest protections for the LGBTQ+ community, and I am committed to enforcing them,” Gov. Kathy Hochul wrote on X. 

“This executive order is transphobic and deeply dangerous. In New York, we have laws that protect our beautifully diverse communities from hate and discrimination of any and every kind. My office is charged with enforcing and upholding those laws, and we stand up to those who violate them and trespass on the rights of marginalized communities. We are reviewing our legal options,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. 

“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,” Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Delia DeRiggi said. 

“Trans women are women. Trans girls are girls. Full stop. Blakeman’s thinly veiled attempt at publicity not only violates the spirit of fairness and inclusion in sports, but is a tired and long standing approach to divide us. We won’t let that happen. We stand with the Trans community today and always,” said Patrica Pastor, Nassau NOW president.

“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. This discriminatory move not only undermines the principles of inclusivity and fairness but also perpetuates harmful stereotypes and exclusion,” said Dr. David Kilmnick, president and founder of the New York LGBT Network. 

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