NY judge tosses order restricting transgender players from using county-run parks

An order restricting transgender athletes from using county-run parks and fields in Long Island, New York, was struck down by a judge on Friday after it was challenged by a roller derby league.  Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman issued an executive order in February denying park permits to any women’s and girl’s teams, leagues or organizations that allow female transgender athletes to participate. Blakeman held a news conference in March with Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist for the men’s decathlon in 1976 prior to a gender transition, who endorsed the ban.Blakeman’s reasoning for the executive order stemmed from his effort to ensure female athletes could compete in their respective sports fairly, but Judge Francis Ricigliano ruled that he didn’t have the authority to issue the order.SURF LEGEND BETHANY HAMILTON RIPS CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS AFTER COMPETITION REVERSES STANCE ON TRANS ATHLETESIn his 13-page decision, Ricigliano, wrote that Blakeman’s order was aimed at preventing transgender women from participating in girls’ and women’s athletics in county parks, “despite there being no corresponding legislative enactment” providing him with such authority.”In doing so, this Court finds the County Executive acted beyond the scope of his authority as the Chief Executive Officer of Nassau County,” Ricigliano wrote.The league’s lawsuit was backed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which said the decision overturned a harmful policy that attempted to “score cheap political points by peddling harmful stereotypes about transgender women and girls.””This is a huge victory for all trans people in Nassau, especially our plaintiffs @LIRollerRebels,” the NYCLU wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “This decision sends a strong message that transphobic discrimination cannot and will not stand. We are gratified that the court saw this order for what it was: a harmful, hateful policy that has no place in New York.”OREGON HIGH SCHOOL TRANSGENDER RUNNER PUTS TOGETHER FAST TIMES AGAINST GIRLS IN SEMIS, SPARKS OUTRAGEBlakeman dismissed the judge’s decision as one that didn’t address the merits of the case. The ruling doesn’t delve into the civil rights arguments raised by both sides, instead focusing on the limitations of the county executive’s powers.”Unfortunately girls and women are hurt by the court,” he wrote in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.The Roller Rebels were one of those teams looking for a permit for the county-owned rinks. The league allows anyone who identifies as a woman, and one transgender player is already on their roster. State Attorney General Letitia James had previously called for Nassau County to rescind the order, saying anti-discrimination laws are being violated.She said that Friday’s ruling is a “major victory.” “In New York, it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of their gender identity or expression…My office will keep working to ensure every New Yorker is free to be who they are.”The issue involving trans women in women’s sports adds to the national discussion surrounding one of the most controversial topics in sports.Fox News’ Scott Thompson and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
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