New York’s Nassau County relentlessly advances more legislation to ban trans athletes

Bruce Blakeman.

Lawmakers in Long Island, New York, are reportedly preparing to vote on banning trans athletes from competing for women’s teams in county-owned facilities.

Politicians in Nassau County will vote on 24 June on whether to implement legislation that would bar trans women from women’s competition on sports sites owned by the country, impacting the ability of even trans-inclusive teams to welcome trans members.

A proposal to deny transgender women the right to compete was initially signed by county executive Bruce Blakeman in February. “We started hearing from a lot of girls and a lot of women that they thought it was very unfair and very unsafe that biological males were competing in what is billed as all-girl teams or all-women teams,” he said.

The ban was overturned in May after a legal battle begun by the trans-inclusive roller derby team The Roller Rebels.

In a ruling opinion, a judge wrote that Blakeman “acted beyond the scope of his authority” in signing the executive order, and that there was “no corresponding legislative enactment” which gave him the right to do so.

Long Island Roller Rebels group photo
The Long Island Roller Rebels opposed the anti-trans order. (X/Long Island Roller Rebels)

Republicans have since tabled similar rules for the Nassau County legislature – comprising 12 Republicans and seven Democrats – to consider again.

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Lawmakers voted to advance the bill on Monday (10 June), preparing it for a full vote later this month.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which helped strike down the executive order, again expressed its opposition the bill.

NYCLU lawyer Gabriella Larios told CBS that if the bill advances, it is likely to be struck down because it violates the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

“In 2019, New York amended its human rights law and its civil rights law to explicitly prohibit discrimination against transgender people,” Larios said.

Amanda Urena, the president of the Roller Rebels, described the proposed legislation as discriminatory towards tax-paying trans people who had the right to use county facilities as much as anyone else.

“We fully believe we are standing in the right place in history,” Urena said. “We are standing up for Nassau County. We’re standing up for people’s rights.”

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