Metro Weekly

Manhattan Education Council Proposes Trans Sports Ban

A Manhattan education council is urging New York City Public Schools to ban transgender athletes from female sports teams.

A local educational advisory body in Manhattan has adopted a non-binding resolution calling on New York City Public Schools to prevent transgender female students from playing on sports teams matching their gender identity.

On March 20, Community Education Council 2, which covers a swath stretching from Lower Manhattan to the Upper East Side, approved a resolution urging New York City Public Schools to form a review committee to propose changes to the department’s current gender guidelines.

Since 2019, the city has allowed transgender athletes to compete on sports teams that align with their gender identity. Critics of the current transgender participation policy argue that key stakeholders — female cisgender athletes, coaches, parents, medical professionals, and evolutionary biology experts — were either ignored or not consulted about the potential ramifications of such a policy.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 8-3, urges the school system to receive and consider input from those stakeholders when considering whether transgender student athletes should be eligible to compete in female-designated sports.

The purpose of seeking that input is to ensure cisgender females are not denied opportunities to earn team roster spots, titles, awards, and scholarships, or other honors.

“Girls and women lose when their hard-fought and won sports opportunities are ignored in favor of replacing sex with gender identity as a category,” said Maud Maron, the lead sponsor of the proposal.

Maron is the president of “parental rights” group PLACE NYC and a former congressional candidate who earned less than 1 percent of the vote in the 2022 Democratic primary for New York’s 10th Congressional District. She has attracted criticism for the content of private texts that were made public. In those texts, she claimed, “There is no such thing as trans kids because there is no such thing as transition, i.e. changing your sex.” 

Maron insisted that “social contagion is undeniable,” referring to the notion that children only begin identifying as transgender because they are mimicking the behavior of friends who are transgender. She called hormone-blocking drugs an “abomination,” as reported by the pro-school choice news website The 74.

The resolution calling for gender guidelines change was co-sponsored by Charles Love, who headlined a recent event in Manhattan held by the anti-LGBTQ organization Moms for Liberty.

LGBTQ advocates and allies attempted to mobilize people to speak out against the resolution. A group called Bigot Blockade started a petition asking people to write letters to CEC members opposing the resolution, sending out 4,428 letters in the run-up to Wednesday’s meeting.

The petition criticized the CEC members sponsoring the resolution.

“Their statements of the gender identity policy ‘hurting female athletes’ is false and based on the incorrect idea that allowing trans students to participate in sports lessens the experience of other student athletes,” the petition read. “This trans-exclusionary feminism is harmful to all students, especially LGBTQIA+ students.”

Gavin Healy, a CEC member who voted against the resolution, told the New York Daily News he believed the resolution was a “red herring” and a “made-up issue,” adding that he’s not aware of any instance where a cisgender athlete in New York City has missed out on any award or scholarship opportunity due to the participation of transgender athletes.

“I think it’s sort of a ploy, and I think Maud Maron wants to be able to go on Fox News or The Megyn Kelly Show and say, ‘Even in this liberal enclave of Manhattan, the home of Stonewall, parents are still concerned about transgender athletes having an unfair advantage at sports,'” Healy said. 

The council also passed a resolution that Healy and other members reintroduced. It stated that “all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.”

The council’s non-binding resolution is similar to laws or policies that have passed in 25 different states banning transgender youth from playing on sports teams matching their gender identity. Four of those laws are currently blocked from being enforced by state or federal courts.

In nearby Nassau County, County Executive Bruce Blakeman signed an executive order barring any female-designated sports teams with transgender members from competing or practicing at any county athletic facilities.

Blakeman was defended by former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman who claims that transgender participation in women’s sports is inherently unfair and potentially dangerous for cisgender female athletes.

The Nassau County executive order is currently the subject of a lawsuit claiming that it is discriminatory.

Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James has threatened to take legal action against Nassau County, saying in a cease-and-desist letter that the policy violates New York’s laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.

New York City Schools Chancellor David Banks, who previously condemned the Nassau County ban, reiterated his support for the 2019 gender guidelines in prepared public remarks. 

“All students have the right to have their gender, gender identity, and gender expression recognized,” he wrote in a post on X that contained a short video clip showing part of his remarks.


Several LGBTQ Democratic lawmakers, including City Council Member Erik Bottcher, who represents Lower Manhattan, along with State Rep. Deborah Glick, State Rep. Tony Simone, and State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, blasted the Community Education Council’s actions.

“It is shocking that a resolution of this nature would even be proposed, let alone passed, in a part of New York City that includes the largest LGBTQ community in the country,” the statement read. “We stand unwaveringly against any and all forms of discrimination, especially a vile attempt to marginalize the most vulnerable students.”

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