On May 10, a Nassau County Supreme Court judge struck down an executive order issued by County Executive Bruce Blakeman during a February press conference and rally. (Credit: Anton Media Group)

Blakeman’s Executive Order Struck Down In Court

On Friday, May 10, the Nassau County Supreme Court struck down an executive order signed by County Executive Bruce Blakeman that banned transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports at county-run facilities.

Judge Francis Ricigliano ruled that Nassau County did not have the authority to issue the executive order, which critics argued was in violation of New York State anti-discrimination law.

The executive order, issued on Feb. 22, required that “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.”

In March, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) sued Blakeman over his controversial order on behalf of the Long Island Roller Rebels, a Nassau County-based recreational women’s flat track roller derby league, which welcomes trans women. Attorneys for the team argued it was effectively barred from using Nassau County’s facilities under the broad-ranging new order, which had immediately gone into effect.

“We are gratified the court has struck down a harmful policy that belongs in the dustbin of history,” said Gabriella Larios, staff attorney at the NYCLU, in a statement. “The ruling deals a serious blow to County Executive Blakeman’s attempt to score cheap political points by peddling harmful stereotypes about transgender women and girls. We will continue to ensure that the attacks against LGBTQ+ rights that are sweeping the nation will not stand in New York.”

Long Island Roller Rebels member-player Curly Fry commented in a statement, “[This] decision is a victory for those who believe that transgender people have the right to participate in sports just like everyone else. It sends a strong message that transphobic discrimination cannot stand.”

“As a league welcoming trans women and committed to providing a safe space for everyone to be their full selves, County Executive Blakeman’s order tried to punish us just because we believe in inclusion and stand against transphobia,” they continued. “Trans people belong everywhere including in sports, and they will not be erased.”

County Executive Blakeman responded to the decision in a statement to press, chalking up the ruling to “Lack of courage from a judge who didn’t want to decide the case on its merits.”

“Nassau County will appeal without much faith in the Appellate Division applying the law without far left doctrine being used to undermine women’s sports,” Blakeman said.

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