Nassau County Executive, Bruce Blakeman speaks during a press conference about the fatal bus crash on Interstate 84 on September 21, 2023. The bus was transporting members of Farmingdale High School's band. | Patrick Oehler / USA TODAY NETWORK

Update March 7, 2024: In a turn of events, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman is suing New York Attorney General Letitia James to stop her from barring a ban of trans women in female sports at Nassau County facilities.

Original story: Nassau County, N.Y., introduced a ban on transgender women and girls from competing as athletes in girl’s and women’s sports in an executive order effective Thursday, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman announced.

The measure, believed to be the first within the United States, would prohibit any school, college or university team from using county-run venues if they allow transgender participation in sports. This could potentially affect events at many of levels of sports, though the total number is unknown.

Blakeman, a Republican, signed the order during a press conference flanked by supporters, including former Oberlin College lacrosse coach Kim Russell, who is an ambassador for the anti-trans Independent Women’s Forum. Russell was dismissed from her coaching position after making anti-trans statement on social media in 2022.

“This not precluding anybody from participating in sports,” Blakeman said. “What it is, it’s identifying that there are women and girls who spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to excel and compete in their sports that are women’s sports. It is an unfair advantage for someone who is a biological male to compete against a biological female.”

Protesters gathered in front of the county government’s main offices where the press conference took place. Dr. David Kilmnick, president and founder of the New York LGBT Network, expressed his dismay at the executive order.

“I am profoundly disappointed in the county executive for announcing this illegal, discriminatory executive order that only harms one group of people and that’s our transgender youth” Kilmnick said to WABC Thursday. “There is no reason for this ban other than to be a political stunt.”

The move may be a sign of similar policies to come. Blakeman, a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump, was elected in a wave of Republican municipal and county officials across Long Island in elections last year.

Anthony Nicodemo, a New York City-area high school coach, athletic director, and a board member of the Sports Equality Foundation, criticized the new policy and the politics that forged it.

He also noted that this move will meet a stern challenge from a progressive set of statewide protections.

“This is an attempt to gain political points from the far right on a non-issue,” Nicodemo told Outsports. “The County Exec paraded children up there to hold signs they don’t understand. New York State has some of the greatest protections for the trans community, and I’m confident Governor (Katie) Hochul will challenge this human rights violation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see other executives jump on board for some publicity, but this kind of discrimination won’t be allowed in New York State.”

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