Nassau lawmakers pass bill banning trans women from female sports teams at county facilities

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said at a previous legislative meeting that 80% of Nassau residents were in favor of his previous efforts.

News 12 Staff and Jon Dowding

Jun 24, 2024, 9:49 AM

Updated 18 days ago


The Nassau County Legislature passed a bill Monday that would ban transgender women from competing in female sports teams at county-run facilities. It now heads to Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s desk, where he is expected to sign it.
The final vote tally is in the legislature was 12-6 in favor of the ban.
Blakeman said at a previous legislative meeting that 80% of Nassau residents were in favor of his previous efforts.
Earlier this year, Blakeman had issued a near identical executive order to ban transgender women from competing in female sports at county properties.
The order was rejected by the state Supreme Court because a judge said the county executive could not act on the issue without the legislature.
The GOP-backed bill cleared the legislative committee a few weeks ago.
Nassau Democrats are against the bill as they believe it will result in more expensive lawsuits for the county.
The New York Civil Liberties Union, who sued about the executive order, said it plans to take the county to court over this.
Trans advocates and parents of trans children rallied on Monday to speak out against the legislation.
Maria O'Leary, an advocate in the transgender community and a lifelong resident said, "This bill breaks my heart. It does not take the complexity of the trans-athletic situation in to account. Age matters, stage of transition matters, sport matters.”
"The camaraderie and the connections that you make through sport are invaluable for any young person, but most specifically for trans people because trans kids already feel othered," she said.
The bill before the Legislature came after a Nassau Supreme Court judge struck down Blakeman's executive order, which would have had the same effect.
County Executive Blakeman says he supports the bill.
"This is about fairness and safety,” he said. "Biological males are bigger, faster, stronger. It's unfair to women and it's unsafe to women."
Gender Equality NY Executive Director Juli Grey-Owens says that’s not the case.
"Children who start transition medically pre-puberty will end up exactly as a girl with the same level of strength, the same level of endurance," she said.
Legislators heard public comment before voting on the ban that’s drawing a divide in Nassau. Blakeman says there’s nothing stopping trans women and trans girls from participating on male, co-ed, or trans sports teams in the county.
"I think it's a small group of bullies and possibly pretenders who want to get involved in women's athletics,” said Blakeman.
Trans advocates say kids just want to play sports with their friends.
"Six and 7-year-old trans girls, they just want to play soccer with their friends," said O’Leary.

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