Judge dismisses Blakeman’s lawsuit against A.G. Letitia James

Judge dismisses Blakeman’s lawsuit against A.G. Letitia James
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman. (Photo courtesy of the county executive)

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Friday filed by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman against State Attorney General Letitia James over her cease-and-desist order demanding Blakeman rescind his ban on transgender girl and women athletes.

The attorney general issued the cease-and-desist order March 1 in an effort to force Blakeman to rescind his executive order, signed Feb. 22, banning transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams at county facilities. James called the order “transphobic” and “blatantly illegal.”

In response, Blakeman filed a lawsuit against James March 6.

District Court Judge Nusrat Choudhury delivered Friday’s ruling, which found Blakeman could not prevent James from challenging the executive order.

“This decision is a tremendous victory for justice and the rule of law, but our work here is not done,” James said in a statement to Newsday. “County Executive Blakeman’s executive order is transphobic, and we have no room for hate in New York. It’s past time for Nassau County to rescind this order and treat all our communities with the basic respect and dignity they deserve.”

The county executive said he will appeal the decision. The executive order remains in effect.

“I am shocked that a federal judge with a background as a Civil Liberties Union lawyer would not give girls and women their day in court,” Blakeman said in a statement to Blank Slate Media.

All sports teams using Nassau County facilities have to register under one of three categories: men’s and boys’, women’s and girls’ or co-ed teams, Blakeman said.

The executive order forces transgender girl and women athletes to compete in the leagues that correlate with their sex assigned at birth at county facilities, meaning boys’ and men’s teams or co-ed teams. The executive order does not affect transgender boys and men.

Blakeman called Nassau County a “welcoming” and “loving” place and said that transgender boy and men athletes can compete on boys’ and men’s teams because there is no fairness issue involved at a press conference in March.

In addition to the cease-and-desist order, Blakeman is facing a lawsuit related to his controversial executive order.

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Long Island Roller Rebels, a women’s roller derby league, filed a lawsuit against Blakeman March 11.

The suit calls Blakeman’s executive order “discriminatory” and “unlawful,” arguing that the order violates New York’s Human Rights Law and Civil Rights Law as well as guidance from the state Education Department.

The Long Island Roller Rebels, who are based in Massapequa, currently have at least one league member who would be prohibited from participating in their league under the executive order, according to the lawsuit.

The Roller Rebels have historically used Nassau County facilities for their events, including outdoor skating rinks at Eisenhower Park and Cedar Creek Park, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that as an inclusive women’s league, the Roller Rebels do not inquire about players’ sex assigned at birth, which they would be required to do under the order.

Blakeman accused transgender girl and women athletes who join women’s sports of bullying at a press conference in March.

David Kilmnick, the president of the New York LGBT Network, argued it is transgender students who are bullied, noting the “rising number of violent and hate incidents” against transgender students.

When asked to name a single transgender athlete in Nassau County who attempted to play on one of these county-protected school athletic teams, Blakeman could not provide a name.

Instead, Blakeman said he has heard from a lot of women and girls that they are unhappy about transgender girls’ and women’s involvement in sports. Blakeman emphasized that these measures are meant to be preventative.

“One of [these women] said to me, ‘Do we have to get injured before anybody takes any action?’” Blakeman said. “You don’t have to wait to get punched in the nose to take action in government.”

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  1. Blakeman is harmful to Nassau Residents. He is devisive and discriminatory in
    all his edicts. We will not tolerate his dictatorial


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