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Judge tosses out Nassau County lawsuit defending ban on transgender women at sports facilities

Nassau Co. lawsuit defending ban on transgender women at sports facilities tossed out
Nassau Co. lawsuit defending ban on transgender women at sports facilities tossed out 00:23

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit from Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman who had been looking to stop a challenge from New York Attorney General Letitia James over his decision to ban transgender women from playing sports at county-owned facilities.

In March, James demanded Blakeman rescind an order banning those athletes.

The ban still remains in effect, but now the attorney general's lawsuit can move forward.

In February, Blakeman signed an executive order banning transgender athletes from competing in girls' and women's sports at county facilities. Under the order, sports leagues now must submit documentation of their players' biological sex at birth.

Blakeman claims the order was promoted by parents' concerns and is "a fairness issue."

The order was met with immediate outrage by trans rights advocates.

On March 1, the state attorney general issued a cease-and-desist letter saying the executive order violated the state's anti-discrimination laws. A few days later, Blakeman filed the federal lawsuit against James.

In a statement Friday, James said, "This decision is a tremendous victory for justice and the rule of law, but our work here is not done. County Executive Blakeman's executive order is transphobic, and we have no room for hate in New York. It's past time for Nassau County to rescind this order and treat all our communities with the basic respect and dignity they deserve."

The office declined to say when or if it will sue to block the ban, saying it will review the decision, which was handed down in federal court in Central Islip.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, who issued the ban, vowed to appeal. "We vehemently disagree with the decision," he said in an emailed statement.

A Long Island roller derby league has also filed a lawsuit claiming the ban violates anti-discrimination laws.

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