close Caitlyn Jenner joins Nassau County executive in battle over trans athletes in women's sports Video

Caitlyn Jenner joins Nassau County executive in battle over trans athletes in women’s sports

Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner flew to New York Monday to stand with a local official who is suing AG Letitia James in federal court over her push to force Nassau County to allow biological males to compete in all-female sporting events.

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After New York Attorney General Letitia James ordered Nassau County to “cease-and-desist” a new ban on biological males competing in female sports, local leaders responded with a federal lawsuit declaring the state’s stance a form of “bullying” against women.

It’s the latest in a saga pitting New York’s Democratic leadership against a Republican-led county fed up with progressive mandates.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman issued an executive order in February banning trans women and girls from competing in all-female sporting events at county-owned facilities, arguing that such competitions are unfair, unconstitutional and physically dangerous.

James issued a cease-and-desist order against the county. Then the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of a women’s roller derby team, calling the order a “harmful, transphobic policy.”


New York State Attorney General Letitia James

Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference at her office in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Now Nassau County is taking James and the state of New York to federal court, alleging in another lawsuit that the attorney general is “unconstitutionally discriminating” against women and girls.

“This is not anti-trans, this is protecting women and girls,” Blakeman said Monday at a news briefing alongside Olympic champion and trans activist Caitlyn Jenner, arguing that his order protects female athletes from “bullying” and ensures fairness and safety.

Jenner, who described New York as a “living hellscape,” called out James’ priorities, juxtaposing violence on New York City’s subway trains alongside the attorney general’s lawsuits against former President Donald Trump and Nassau County.


Caitlyn Jenner speaks behind a podium

Caitlyn Jenner condemns biological male athletes in women’s and girls’ sports at a news briefing in Nassau County, New York, on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Fox News)

“My fear is that if this woke agenda, that’s out there, you know, the DEI world that’s out there, if this continues, it’ll ruin women’s sports over the next 10 to 20 years. Let’s stop it now while we can,” she said, prompting applause from people in the crowd. “What’s going to happen 20 years from now… when young girls are going to want to go out for sports and they’re going to say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to play girls sports. I have to play against the boys.'”

The two lawsuits lay out arguments of both sides on the trans sports debate while asking the court to decide on a critical issue – “the legally recognized point of gender identity,” said David Gelman, a New Jersey-based attorney and former prosecutor.

Read the federal lawsuit here

“Nassau County’s position is grounded in the reality that a person who is born as a male (biological male) but who identifies as a female is still in fact a biological male,” Gelman told Fox News Digital. “If you accept that premise, then these transgender individuals are males who do not fall into a protected class and who are in fact infringing upon the rights of a protected class (females).”

On the other hand, the courts could view trans women as falling within the federally defined protected class of women, he said.

“The NYCLU in its Verified Petition essentially ignores biological reality, pretends that gender is essentially unknown at birth despite biological markers that speak to the contrary, and simply defines these individuals as another type of female, ‘transgender females,’ in need of protection,” he said.

New York Attorney General Letitia James booed at FDNY ceremony Video

The NYCLU lawsuit accuses Blakeman and Nassau County of violating New York’s Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, GENDA. 

Jenner argued that the GENDA law violates both Title IX, which protects women’s rights in schools, and women’s rights under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

“Trans people who play sports need support and affirmation, not to be a political target,” NYCLU attorney Gabriella Larios said in a statement. “Nassau County’s cynical attempt to shut them out of public spaces is a blatant violation of our state’s civil and human rights laws.”

Nassau executive Bruce Blakeman speaks with reporters from behind a podium

County Executive Bruce Blakemen delivers remarks regarding a new federal lawsuit against Attorney General Letitia James at a news briefing in Nassau County, New York, on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Fox News)

Blakeman’s office has repeatedly denied allegations of discrimination, arguing that there is no prohibition on trans sporting events on county property.

“In fact, the Executive Order invites transgender biological males to compete except in teams and leagues that advertise or identify as exclusively all-girls or all-women,” the federal lawsuit reads.

There are about 100 county-owned venues subject to the order, equipped for a number of different sports, including softball, volleyball and basketball.

Read the NCLU lawsuit here

The NYCLU lawsuit, on behalf of a Massapequa-based women’s roller derby team known as the Long Island Roller Rebels, asserts that “the term ‘biological sex’ is imprecise” and that the county’s ban on biological males in women’s sports violates their rights and deprives them of the positive effects of athletics, especially for youths.

The team’s motto on its website is, “Skate Fast. Hit Hard. Get Low.”

The lawsuit states that a high school coach who identifies a student as a trans female could be forced to “choose between adhering to state law that requires her to treat transgender girls consistent with their gender identity or removing transgender girls from the team in order to use county facilities.”

Caitlyn Jenner Fox News contributor

Caitlyn Jenner arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, California. (John Shearer/Getty Images)

Blakeman, however, has maintained that his order is within state and federal law and said trans athletes can still participate in sports.

“Women and girls are a protected class under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York,” he said earlier this month. “And we will protect women from bullying by transgender males who want to compete against biological females.”

Failure to do so would be unfair to female athletes, he said.

“It is something that we believe is wrong,” he said. “And we think that since there are other avenues for them to compete, that there is no discrimination.”

Bruce Blakeman in January 2024

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman speaks at an event on Jan. 5, 2024x, in Woodbury, New York. (Howard Schnapp/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

James, who successfully sued the former president in a Manhattan court for more than $350 million, later appeared in front of a group of FDNY members during a promotion ceremony, prompting jeers and boos as members of the audience chanted, “Trump! Trump! Trump!”


“County Executive Blakeman’s executive order is transphobic and discriminatory,” a spokesperson for James’ office told Fox News Digital. “Our laws protect New Yorkers from discrimination, and the Office of the Attorney General is committed to upholding those laws and protecting our communities. This is not up for debate: the executive order is illegal, and it will not stand in New York.”

The courts will now have a chance to weigh in.

Fox News’ Jennifer Johnson contributed to this report.

Michael Ruiz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @mikerreports

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