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Order banning transgender athletes from female sports at Nassau County facilities struck down by judge

Nassau County transgender athlete ban struck down by judge
Nassau County transgender athlete ban struck down by judge 01:49

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- An executive order banning transgender athletes from participating in women's and girls' sports at Nassau County-owned facilities was struck down by a state Supreme Court judge on Friday.

The judge ruled that County Executive Bruce Blakeman didn't have the authority to issue such an order.

Blakeman responded to the decision in a statement, saying, "Lack of courage from a Judge who didn't want to decide the case on its merits. Unfortunately, girls and women are hurt by the Court."

It was not immediately clear if Blakeman will appeal the decision.  

Transgender athlete ban sparks controversy on Long Island

On Feb. 22, Blakeman signed an executive order that would require any sports team seeking to use a Nassau County facility to provide information on "the biological sex at birth of the team members/participants." The order also stated that the county would deny permits to any women's or girls' sporting event with transgender participants. The ban did not apply to men's teams with transgender athletes.

Blakeman defended the order as "a fairness issue" that was prompted by concerned parents.

Attorney General Letitia James called the order transphobic and demanded Blakeman rescind the ban. Blakeman responded by filing a federal lawsuit against James, but a judge tossed it out.

In March, the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the ban on behalf of a women's roller derby team, the Long Island Roller Rebels. The suit claimed the ban was in violation of the state's anti-discrimination laws.

Roller Rebels President Amanda Urena says the decision sends a strong message.

"We wanted to take a stand and we wanted to show people that we're here to protect our community, and we're very excited about that," they said.

"We will continue to ensure that these attacks that are happening against LGBTQ people will not stand in New York," NYCLU attorney Gabriella Larios said.

CBS New York reached out to Blakeman for an interview, but he was not available.

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