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Blakeman Files Suit Ahead Of Attorney General’s Deadline

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has filed suit aiming to protect his February executive order stating that trans women and girls cannot participate in women’s and girls’ sports leagues and events.
Early last week, ahead of a Friday deadline to rescind his order issued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Blakeman filed a 12-page suit in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York seeking a declaratory judgment on the matter.
As Gothamist reported, Blakeman’s lawsuit cites Title 9 of the U.S. Constitution, which protects people from discrimination based on their sex in education programs that get federal monies, as well as the 14th Amendment, which establishes that no U.S. state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Attorney General James previously called Blakeman’s order “blatantly illegal” and “transphobic and discriminatory.” Responding to the lawsuit in a statement, a spokeperson for James’ office said that the matter is “not up for debate,” adding that the executive order “is illegal, and [will] not stand in New York.”
Days earlier, after James’ office instructed Blakeman to rescind the order, Blakeman held a press conference where he said he believed the order to be lawful and hinted that the issue was headed to court.
More than 100 sports facilities are potentially impacted by Blakeman’s February 22 exectuive order, which went into effect immediately, leading to widespread criticism from LGBTQ+ and human rights advocates.
On Thursday, February 22, Blakeman held a small rally, with the stated intent to “protect girls’ sports,” before unveiling the executive order.
According to the order, “any sports, leagues, organizations, teams, programs, or sports entities must expressly designate [male, female, or co-ed] based on the biological sex at birth of the team members/participants when applying for a use and occupancy permit to utilize Nassau County Parks property for the purposes of organization a sporting event or competition.” It goes on to state that the Nassau County Department of Parts, Recreation and Museums “shall not issue any permits for the use and occupancy of Nassau County Park’s property for the purposes of organizing a sporting event or competition that allows athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls to include biological males … [but] may issue permits … that allow athletic teams or sports for males, men, or boys to include biological females.”
Blakeman’s order went on to state that an athlete’s birth certificate would be acceptable proof for establishing their gender for the purposes of playing sports in Nassau (specifically making reference to the sex designated therein), and noted that a birth certificate issued at or soon after a person’s birth would be accepted.
In response to Blakeman’s order, one local high school teacher who spoke to Anton Media Group in February expressed concern about not only the order’s impact on trans students but also the entire student body of local schools, not that “policing this [matter] requires sometimes intrinsic questions and inspections and things like that, because sometimes it isn’t immediately clear who is, or who isn’t, trans.” She added, “This really affects the privacy of all students.”

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