Transgender Athlete Ban in a Long Island County Is Struck Down in Court

A New York court on Friday struck down a Long Island county order that barred transgender women from playing on women’s sports teams at county-owned sports facilities.

The case had raised questions about whether the ban was legal under the state’s human rights law. But the ruling on Friday by Justice Francis Ricigliano of Nassau County Supreme Court turned on a technical issue: The county executive, Bruce Blakeman, had “acted beyond the scope of his authority as the chief executive officer of Nassau County” when he imposed the ban, Justice Ricigliano said.

The right to pass such laws is reserved for legislative bodies, and chief executives of local governments cannot “unlawfully infringe” on those rights, the ruling stated.

Gabriella Larios, a staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union, said on Friday that the decision “deals a serious blow to county executive Blakeman’s attempt to score cheap political points by peddling harmful stereotypes about transgender women and girls.”

On Saturday, Mr. Blakeman, a Republican, said in a statement to The New York Times that he would appeal the judge’s decision and “take all measures to protect the integrity of women’s sports.”

The executive order, which was issued by Mr. Blakeman in February, said that any sports leagues or organizations that wanted a permit to use a county parks department facility must designate their teams as male, female or coed based on members’ assigned sex at birth.

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