Nassau County Executive Blakeman Defends Women’s Sports

Over the past couple of decades, voices on the left in the United States have promoted transgenderism in politics and many other spheres of American life. Their efforts have been remarkably successful; the “transgender” movement has achieved victories in state legislatures; in the business world; in courts; in primary schools, secondary schools, and universities; and even in sports. The mainstream media typically presents these victories as steps on the ongoing march toward liberty and justice for all. In reality, however, the “transgender” movement is based on a lie: The lie that “gender identity” is a subjective construct based not on biological sex, but on a person’s feelings. This trendy falsehood is dangerous to young people, and it is also deeply anti-woman.

In recent days, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has taken a brave, outspoken stand against transgenderism in sports. At a press conference accompanying the signing of an executive order, Blakeman commented, “‘I see no reason why a biological male has to compete versus biological females. It makes no sense. It’s a fairness issue, and frankly I interpret it as bullying on the part of biological males.’” Blakeman added, “‘A biological male is bigger, stronger and faster than a biological female. For a biological male to compete versus a biological female in tennis or basketball or golf is unfair.’”

On February 22, 2024, Blakeman signed an executive order that bars “athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls” from allowing males to participate in sporting events on county-owned property. Contrary to the rhetoric spouted by “transgender” activists and their left-wing allies, Blakeman’s order does not bar “transgender” athletes from sports participation. Rather, the order requires applicants who wish to use county-owned properties for sporting events to designate those events as being for “1) Males, men, or boys; or 2) Females, women, or girls; or 3) Coed or mixed, including both males and females.” Furthermore, the order allows biological females to participate in any of these three categories of sporting events if they so choose, and it also allows males to participate in men’s events and co-ed events. However, the order does not permit males to participate in sporting events designated as being for “females, women, or girls.”

There is good news and not-so-good news regarding Blakeman’s order. The not-so-good news is twofold. First, the order may encroach upon the authority of the Nassau County Legislature. Policymaking is a legislative function, not an executive function. The fact that Blakeman’s policy is correct does not necessarily mean it is appropriate to adopt that policy by executive action. Second, New York courts will likely find that Blakeman’s order conflicts with state law. What state law? The so-called Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), also known as the Bathroom Law. This 2019 law—which New York Families Action (formerly knowns as New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms) led the fight against for well over a decade—bans discrimination in public accommodations based on the phony category of “gender identity or expression.”

The good news, however, is that Blakeman’s order has given voice to the serious concerns expressed by parents and by female athletes about the intrusion of male athletes into women’s sports and girls’ sports.

The first reason that women’s sports and girls’ sports should be off limits to males is simply this: Allowing males to participate in women’s sports or girls’ sports is dishonest. Sex is a God-given biological characteristic rooted in our chromosomes—XX for females, and XY for males. A person’s sex is not changeable, and it has nothing to do with feelings. Persons with gender dysphoria are human beings created in the image of God. They are fully entitled to justice and fairness under the law, and Christians should treat them with love and compassion. However, there is nothing loving or compassionate about playing along with a delusion. A person who is confused about his or her gender identity should receive help in resolving that confusion.

The second reason that women’s sports and girls’ sports should be off limits to males is simple fairness. As a general matter, post-pubescent males are considerably larger, stronger, and faster than females. Even if a post-pubescent male takes hormones to lower his testosterone level, many of those advantages persist. Placing teenaged girls into sports competition against teenaged boys is unfair, as is placing women into sports competition against men. Teenaged girls should not be pushed out of spots on sports teams by teenaged boys who identify as “transgender.” In similar fashion, teenaged girls should not have trophies, accolades, or scholarship opportunities snatched out of their grasp and awarded to teenaged boys who identify as “transgender.” The United States banned sex discrimination in education—including in school and university sports programs—in 1972, and women’s sports and girls’ sports have grown by leaps and bounds since then. “Transgender” advocates’ insistence that boys and men be allowed to compete in women’s sports and girls’ sports places those advances in jeopardy. It is sadly ironic that Gov. Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Letitia James, and other female politicians have spoken against the Blakeman order; while those politicians claim to be pro-woman, they are actually working to give males an unfair advantage over women and girls in sports competition.

The final reason that women’s sports and girls’ sports should be off limits to males is safety. Males’ advantages in size and strength endanger women and girls in sports competition, especially in contact sports. Also, allowing males to enter female-only spaces like locker rooms jeopardizes the physical and emotional safety of women and girls.

To promote honesty, fairness, and safety, the New York State Legislature should immediately pass the Protect Girls’ Sports Act (Bill S.6259-Borrello/A.6124-Goodell), which would limit participation in interscholastic girls’ sports in grades seven through 12 to females.

New York Families thanks Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman for courageously speaking out in defense of female athletes.