Women’s roller derby league sues suburban New York county over trans athlete ban

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A women’s roller derby convention has asked a New York tribunal to invalidate a Republican official’s bid banning female sports teams pinch transgender athletes from utilizing region facilities, saying it violates authorities law.

The lawsuit, revenge Monday successful authorities tribunal connected behalf of nan Long Island Roller Rebels, argues that nan state’s quality authorities and civilian authorities statutes explicitly prohibit favoritism based connected gender identity.

It’s nan latest salvo successful a conflict complete an executive order issued Feb. 22 by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman that covers much than 100 diversion accommodation successful nan densely populated region adjacent to New York City, including ballfields, hoops and tennis courts, swimming pools and crystal rinks.

The bid requires immoderate teams, leagues aliases organizations seeking a licence from nan county’s parks and recreation section to “expressly designate” whether they are for male, female aliases coed athletes.

Any teams designated arsenic “female” would beryllium denied permits if they let transgender athletes to participate. The prohibition doesn’t use to men’s teams pinch transgender athletes.

“This sadistic argumentation sends nan vulnerable connection that trans group don’t beryllium successful Nassau County,” Amanda “Curly Fry” Urena, a personnel of nan Roller Rebels, said successful a statement. “We dream nan tribunal sees this argumentation for what it is — transphobic and cruel — and makes judge Nassau County is simply a safe abstraction for trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive people.”

Blakeman, successful response, said he’s “disappointed” nan New York Civil Liberties Union, which revenge nan suit connected behalf of nan roller derby league, is not “joining america successful our conflict to protect women.”

Bruce BlakemanNassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman astatine a news convention connected March 6, 2024, successful Mineola, N.Y.Philip Marcelo / AP file

The Republican, who was elected successful 2022, has based on nan prohibition is intended to protect girls and women from getting injured if they are forced to compete against transgender women.

Last week, he revenge a lawsuit asking a national tribunal successful New York to affirm that nan bid was ineligible aft authorities Attorney General Letitia James warned him successful a “cease and desist” letter that nan prohibition violated New York’s anti-discrimination laws. Spokespeople for James didn’t remark Monday.

The Roller Rebels opportunity successful their suit that they applied Monday for a licence to big a slate of games astatine roller rinks successful various region parks starting adjacent month, arsenic they’ve utilized nan venues successful erstwhile years for practices and different events.

But nan Nassau County-based convention says it expects this year’s petition to beryllium denied, arsenic it welcomes “all transgender women, intersex women, and gender-expansive women” to participate connected its teams.

The league, which was founded successful 2005 and is simply a personnel of nan Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, added that it presently has astatine slightest 1 convention personnel who would beryllium prohibited from participating nether nan county’s order.

The suit states that nan convention is “now faced pinch nan prime to either exclude transgender women from their convention — successful nonstop contradiction to their soul values and authorities rule — aliases forego entree to Nassau County facilities.”

The suit cites nan state’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, arsenic good as guidance from nan authorities Division of Human Rights, which confirms that nationalist accommodations cannot contradict transgender group entree to programs and activities accordant pinch their gender identity.

Gabriella Larios, an lawyer pinch nan NYCLU, said Nassau County’s bid is portion of a increasing number of attacks connected LGBTQ authorities nationwide.

Bills banning trans younker from participating successful sports have already passed in 24 states, though immoderate person been blocked by ongoing litigation, she said.

“As promised nan time this executive bid was issued, we’re taking action truthful that nan courts relegate this harmful, transphobic argumentation to nan dustbin of history, wherever it belongs,” Larios said.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press