Anti-Transgender Laws Overwhelmingly Opposed By Americans, Poll Shows
The majority of Americans oppose anti-trans legislation, according to a new poll.
Since the start of 2021, 33 states have introduced more than 100 bills that would negatively affect the lives of trans people, whether it’s bans from female sports teams, curbs on LGBTQ+ education in schools or prohibiting gender-affirming care for minors.
Every week, there’s a host of fresh headlines of transphobic bills being passed and discussed by state legislatures. This would suggest a fair degree of support for such proposals – however, the results of a new poll indicate otherwise.
What’s most fascinating is how open the poll was; it wasn’t tailored to any specific political ideology, instead cast over a wide net of respondents. While Republican-controlled legislatures push these bills through into law, most people who identify with the GOP don’t actually support them, unlike the lawmakers themselves.
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which also conducted the poll, told PBS: ‘The parties are speaking to their base people.’
He added: ‘The Democratic coalition is more diverse. It’s broader. The Republicans are speaking to a much narrower base, and that can put you against the overall public opinion within those jurisdictions.’
The poll shows less than three in 10 people support laws that would block trans youths from accessing gender-affirming care or criminalising those who supply it, such as puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgeries. More specifically, 70% of Republicans opposed, as did 69% of Democrats.
Dr. Robert Garofalo, a paediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, said: ‘There’s no evidence to suggest that these treatments are experimental… there’s a common understanding within most mainstream medical organisations that access to gender-affirming care for these young people saves lives.’
Similarly, with regards to laws banning trans participants in sports teams that match their gender identity, only 28% of Americans are actually in support, with strong bipartisan opposition.
However, it’s more a case of people taking against government regulation than trans participation itself; overall, 44% said trans children shouldn’t play on teams that match their identity in grade school, with 48% and 45% opposing it in high school and college respectively.
Garofalo added: ‘There is nothing in these pieces of legislation that I think are supported by any element of truth or any element of science. We’re not legislating sports participation based on the size of your shoe or based upon your height or other sort of immutable characteristics.’
A major area of polarity in the poll came from one question: ‘Do you support the 2021 Equality Act?’ While 90% of Democrats support it, only 32% of Republicans can say the same.
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