Nassau County, New York Enforces Contentious Anti-transgender Sports Activities Law Aimed at Excluding Transgender Women and Girls from Women’s Sports

"Notable Nassau County Landscape"

New York County Legislator Advances Anti-transgender Sports Activities Law

In a controversial move, the legislature of New York’s Nassau County has enacted a law to prohibit women’s sports teams from using county sports facilities unless they exclude transgender women and girls. Nassau County, located on Long Island, is primarily a suburban area just east of New York City.

Identical To Previous Thwarted Order

The law mirrors a previously blocked order proposed by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman. This Republican representative proposed the regulation in February, citing the need to ensure the fairest competition for cisgender women and girls in sports. However, the court struck down this order as it was challenged by New York’s attorney general and a local female roller derby team for contravening a state-wide prohibition on discrimination based on sex or gender identity. The court then ruled that only the county legislature could instate such a rule.

Detailed Information on New Regulation

Under this law, if an organizer of girl’s or women’s sports wants to arrange for a game at a county-run park or sports facility, they are required to seek information on the sex mentioned in the original birth certificate of each team member. If any athlete wasn’t specified as female, they are to be expelled from the team.

However, these restrictions do not extend to men’s and boy’s sports teams or to mixed teams not segregated by sex.

Reason Behind The Law

Victoria Lagreca, a lawyer in the Nassau County Attorney’s office, supported the law, citing four instances over the recent years where cisgender women or girls reported injuries while playing sports alongside transgender women or girls. The incidents happened in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and even once in Canada. However, on questioning, she admitted having no knowledge of any such injuries in the state of New York or the frequency of cases involving injuries caused by cisgender women or girls in sports.

Criticism and Legal Action

The restrictions imposed by this law have ignited a backlash, with civil rights groups condemning it as a direct violation of the individual’s rights and extreme invasion of privacy. Moreover, this enactment goes against the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that discrimination because of sexuality or gender identity is considered illegal sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.

The New York Attorney General Letitia James also termed these restrictions as transphobic and against the law. As a further blow to the regulation, the New York Civil Liberties Union announced its decision to continue its lawsuit against the Nassau restrictions on behalf of the Long Island Roller Rebels. This women’s roller derby team is part of a league that welcomes “all transgender women, intersex women, and gender expansive participants.”

Future Of The Law

Despite public opposition to the ban, the Nassau County Legislature, under Republican control, passed this law by a 12-5 vote. The method of enforcing this law remains unclear, with Lagreca stating surreptitiously that the handling of complaints would be on a “case by case basis,” but providing no details regarding how allegations of breaches would be investigated. It remains to be seen how these restrictions will take effect in real-world sports events and the fallout they may cause.

Nassau County, New York Enforces Contentious Anti-transgender Sports Activities Law Aimed at Excluding Transgender Women and Girls from Women's Sports

Author: HERE Irmo

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