Caitlyn Jenner backs New York transgender ban. GETTY IMAGES

Transgender Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner supported New York's ban on transgender athletes in women's sports at county-owned facilities, drawing criticism from the LGBTQ community.

The Republican Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman announced in February that any team, league, or organisation seeking a permit from the county's Department of Parks and Recreation must "explicitly state" whether its athletes are male, female or mixed gender.

Olympic gold medallist Caitlyn Jenner expressed support for Blakeman's proposed measure, which would prevent women's sports teams with transgender athletes from accessing county-owned facilities. It continues debate over transgender in women's sports in the US, which has been extended to the Olympics with the this year's restrictions at Paris 2024.

More than 100 facilities will be affected by the ban of this legislation in the Long Island suburbs of New York City. Jenner sees it as a step forward for women. She believes that transgender "will ruin women's sports. Let's stop it now while we can." 

The civil rights organisation NYCLU has confirmed that it will sue Nassau County over the ordinance, claiming that "trans people who play sports need support and affirmation. They should not be political targets."

Long Island-based advocacy group LGBT Network called Jenner's comments a "confusing contradiction" of her identity as a transgender woman that was "not only hypocritical, but harmful" to the LGBTQ community.

It's disheartening to see someone who has experienced the challenges of being marginalised actively contribute to the oppression of others within the same community; these actions only serve to amplify the voices of intolerance and distract from collective efforts to create a more inclusive society," said David Kilmnick, president of the group, in a statement. 

The ban does not affect male teams with transgender athletes. "There is too much bullying of biological males trying to insert themselves into women's sports and we will not tolerate it in Nassau County," Blakeman said at a news conference.

"We are protecting the rights of the girls to compete against other girls, biological boys are faster, bigger and stronger. They have a physical advantage over females. It's totally unfair," Blakeman concluded.

"All I'm trying to do is protect women," said Jenner, who said she feels "compassion" for people who are part of the LGBTQ community and "understands their struggles," but believes it's sex discrimination for transgender athletes to compete against women in government-funded programmes. 

Groups such as the New York Liberties Union describe Jenner's statement as "another shameful attempt" to unfairly target transgender women and girls and paint them as villains. Democratic Public Advocate Letitia James called the law "transphobic and discriminatory." 

Restrictions on transgender athletes are growing across the United States, with Idaho becoming the first state to pass such a law in 2020. The number of states increased to 23 by 2023.