Bruce Blakeman bans trans athletes from female sports on county property


Nassau County Bruce Blakeman is taking a stand on transgender athletes participating in sport activities, issuing an executive order banning those who were born male from participating on female athletic teams in county parks, recreation spaces and museums.

“We are finding out, in the last few months, there was a movement for biological males to bully their way into competing in sports or leagues or teams that identify themselves, or advertise themselves, as girls, or female or women’s teams or leagues,” Blakeman told reporters on Wednesday. “We find that unacceptable. It's a form of bullying.”

The executive order demands sports, leagues, organizations, teams, programs or sport entities interested in using county facilities must first designate themselves based on male, female or coed, and then only accept athletes who meet that criteria according to what was originally listed on their birth certificate.

“An individual’s gender is defined as the individual’s biological sex at birth,” Blakeman wrote in his executive order.

While those born male would not be allowed to participate in female teams, Blakeman’s order does not require the county’s parks, recreation and museums department to ban females from joining male teams.

“This is not precluding anybody from participating in sports,” Blakeman wrote. “What it is, is identifying that there are women and girls who spent a tremendous amount of time and effort to excel and compete in their sports that are women's sports — whether it's WNBA, whether it's college, whether it's high school, whether it's just a community league — and it is an unfair advantage for someone who's a biological male to compete against a biological female.”

Supporting the county executive is Nassau County Legislator Samantha Goetz, whose district represents the Oyster Bay area — who says she bases her position on the fact she is a mother of female athletes, and is a former athlete herself.

“There's no training that I could have engaged in to compete against a biological male,” Goetz said.

But Goetz’s colleague in the county legislature — Democratic minority leader Delia DeRiggi-Whitton — says Blakeman’s priorities are all wrong.

“Nassau County residents were falsely promised tax cuts and a fairer property assessment system from this country executive,” DeRiggi-Whitton said, in a statement. “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 focusing on legislating little leagues, which has nothing to do with his responsibilities.”

Patricia Pastor, the president of the National Organization for Woman Nassau chapter, accused Blakeman of “blatant discrimination against women.”

“Trans women are women. Trans girls are girls. Full stop,” Pastor said, in a statement. “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.”

But Kimberly Ross, part of the Women in Sports Commission for World Lacrosse, says this is about protecting female athletes.

“What is happening is boys and men are in girls locker rooms and bathrooms,” Ross said.

Juli Grey-Owens, executive director for Gender Equality New York in Huntington Station, led a protest outside the Mineola news conference, against the executive order.

“We’re here obviously in support of our community,” Grey-Owens said. “To have our kids be discriminated against on public property is just incredible.”

"Biological males who identify as females will still be able to participate in co-ed leagues and male competitive leagues," Blakeman added in a statement.