GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Tudor Dixon, the Republican nominee for Michigan governor, was in Grand Rapids Tuesday afternoon to unveil a new proposal that she says would “protect women’s sports.”
Dixon proposed the Women’s Sports Fairness Act, saying she hoped it would become the “law of the land” if she is elected governor in November. Under the act, Dixon said women’s sports “will not be open to people born as biological males.”
The law would apply to all Michigan public schools and colleges and universities. People assigned female gender at birth would not be able to compete in men’s sports, either.
Dixon also proposed what she called a “civil remedy” for “female students whose opportunities are impacted by competition with biological men.” The candidate claimed this has been happening for five years in Michigan, saying “girls are being robbed of championships” and “the feeling of being equal.”
“Enough is enough,” Dixon said. “The days of gaslighting Michigan are over. The days of throwing our girls under the bus are over. We will demand fairness in women’s sports.”
Asked to provide an example of what she was describing happening in Michigan, she brought up a disc golf competition.
“For the first time, the women were going to be paid in the competition the same as the men,” Dixon said. “And two men won the female competition. This just recently happened. We have seen this. It is not fair. The women were so excited to finally be as the same level as men when it came to pay, and then two men won their competition.”
Dixon appeared to suggest it was an event involving a K-12 school but also said that the athletes were paid.
In a statement sent to News 8 Wednesday evening, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign said the Democratic incumbent “believes sports should unite communities … and politicians shouldn’t be telling schools how to play sports.”
“This is just the latest example of Tudor Dixon politicizing kids to try to divide communities and pit people against each other as part of her DeVos-backed partisan agenda to rip away control from local schools and parents and hurt student athletes,” the statement from Whitmer campaign spokeswoman Maeve Coyle said.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association, which runs most high school sports in the state, previously called legislation that would require athletes to participate in sports based on gender assigned at birth “unnecessary.”
MHSAA approved a policy for transgender athletes in 2012. Before a student can compete, the organization goes through school and medical records to confirm someone’s gender, including hormone suppression therapies. MHSAA said in May 2021 that in the previous five years, only 10 transgender students had gone through the process.