New York AG Letitia James Sued For Overriding Transgender Sports Ban

New York Attorney General Letitia James has been sued by a Nassau County executive who has accused her of unconstitutional discrimination for trying to override the county’s decision to block biologically mmale transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a press conference at the Office of the Attorney General in New York on Feb. 16, 2024. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

The lawsuit was filed by Nassau County official Bruce Blakeman, who said on X that he filed the lawsuit “to protect women’s sports and ensure a safe environment for women.”

“Bullying of women and girls will not be tolerated!” he added, in response to James’ cease and desist letter and threat to use legal action to force the county to allow trans athletes to compete.

In a March 5 complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York, Blakeman seeks to block James from overriding his executive order imposing the ban at county-run facilities. Blakeman argues that her C&D violates the constitutional rights of girls and women, while accusing her of “unconstitutionally discriminating against individuals on the basis of gender” in regards to sporting events, The Epoch Times reports.

“There is a movement for biological males to bully their way into competing in sports or leagues or teams that identify themselves or advertise themselves as girls’ or female or women’s teams or leagues,” Blakeman said during a Feb. 22 press conference.

“We find that unacceptable. It’s a form of bullying,” he added.

In response, James demanded that the executive order be revoked – citing a New York law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or “gender identity or expression.”

More via the Epoch Times;

A spokesperson for Ms. James’ office told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that it believes Mr. Blakeman’s executive order is “transphobic and discriminatory” and violates New York state law.

This is not up for debate: the executive order is illegal, and it will not stand in New York,” the spokesperson said.

‘Undeniable’ Biological Differences

The Nassau County executive order mandates that sports organizations applying for permits in Nassau County facilities must designate teams according to one of three categories: males, men, or boys; females, women, or girls; coed or mixed, including males and females. The criterion for designation is a team member’s biological sex.

The new rule expressly prohibits the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums from issuing permits for the use of county facilities for competitions or sports events in which biological males participate in female-designated teams and leagues.

The department may, however, issue permits for events in which women compete in men’s leagues or events.

Samantha Goetz, a deputy county attorney who was recently elected as a District 18 legislator, spoke at the Feb. 22 press conference in support of the executive order.

This is a matter that concerns the integrity, the fairness, and the safety of women’s sports,” she said. “Our biological differences are undeniable.”

Ms. Goetz, who played varsity basketball, said the executive order is also about access to opportunity like sports scholarships and, ultimately, it’s about “protecting our female athletes.”

Mr. Blakeman argued at the press conference that the problem chiefly concerns female-identifying males taking part in women’s sports. He said allowing this poses a safety risk due to female competitors due to men’s generally superior strength and size, while also depriving women of opportunities.

“What we are saying here today with our executive order is that if a league or team identifies themselves or advertises themselves to be a girls’ or women’s league or team, then biological males should not be competing in those leagues,” he said.

Mr. Blakeman added that he hoped the move would not be seen as discriminatory. He pointedly stated that transgender athletes are welcome to compete in the co-ed or mixed league or in one that corresponds to their sex but not necessarily their preferred gender identity.

However, Ms. James didn’t see it that way.

‘Blatantly Illegal’

Ms. James claimed that the executive order violates the rights of men who identify as women, and forces sports teams and leagues to either discriminate against them or find another place to play.

The law is perfectly clear: you cannot discriminate against a person because of their gender identity or expression. We have no room for hate or bigotry in New York,” Ms. James said in a statement.

“This executive order is transphobic and blatantly illegal,” she continued, adding that if the county doesn’t revoke the order, she’ll take further legal action.

The issue of men competing in women’s sports has become a highly charged issue, with a number of states adopting laws banning transgender-identifying athletes from participating in school sports.

While some of these transgender sports bans face legal challenges, an overwhelming majority of Americans say that athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their “birth gender.”

World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport of athletics, recently banned transgender women from competing in women’s events at international competitions.


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