In N.Y. Suburbs, Republicans Seek Edge by Targeting Transgender Athletes

A ban on transgender women playing on women’s sports teams at county-owned sports facilities has turned a Long Island county into the latest battleground for conservatives who have put cultural issues at the center of a nationwide political strategy.

Restricting the rights of transgender people has become the focus of those efforts, and the ban in densely populated Nassau County has infuriated L.G.B.T.Q. activists and Democratic officials, who have challenged it in court.

But it is unclear whether the ban, which was introduced last month through an executive order signed by the Republican county executive, Bruce Blakeman, will provoke broader anger in a place where Republicans have gained ground in recent years. Or, by contrast, if it might motivate conservative and moderate voters in a place where Democrats hold a fragile majority.

It is also unclear whom it might affect, if anyone. The executive order applies to more than 100 facilities in Nassau County, including playing fields in parks; baseball, football, and soccer fields; basketball and tennis courts; ice skating rinks; and indoor and outdoor swimming pools, according to the state attorney general’s office.

The county ban does not apply to facilities owned and run by the area’s public school districts, though it could affect students whose teams practice or play at county facilities.

The ban could also pose a problem for youth or adult recreation leagues with transgender players. Last week, one such group that uses county facilities, the Long Island Roller Rebels, an adult roller derby league, sued Nassau County, arguing that the ban violates state civil rights law.

Back to top button