Two-thirds of Americans are against laws that would limit transgender rights, a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found. That opposition includes majorities of every political ideology from liberal to conservative and every age group.
Most Americans who oppose anti-transgender legislation have met us. According to the PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, more than half of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender. That includes 53 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of Republicans, and 61 percent of independents.
“It’s really hard once you’re informed or you know a trans person to support one of these bills because it really strikes at the humanity of a trans person,” said Kate Sosin, who reports on LGBTQ+ issues at The 19th.
“More than half of people do know transgender people and that number is only going to go up…and if that is the case, this is inevitably going to be a losing issue for lawmakers trying to make this a wedge issue, because even if you don’t support transgender rights, you don’t want to be the lawmaker pushing something that is seen as bigoted,” said Sosin.
I have experienced the same feeling in the heart of Texas. During the previous administration, right-leaning Texans were angry often displaying that in road rage. Having a Honda Civic with a transgender Biden flag on it I was often targeted with that anger. But in recent weeks Texan curtesy, an ingrained part of our southern culture has returned to the roadways. It is truly remarkable and welcomed. I am first and foremost a Texan. I love my land and the diverse people who live here. And I believe that feeling is mutual.
The most far-reaching bills introduced this year would limit transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming medical care. Twenty-one state legislatures have considered such bills this year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA, which also estimates more than 45,000 youth could be affected, including nearly 1,500 kids in Arkansas who will lose medical care after the state became the first in the country to enact such a law just last week.
Fewer than three in ten people support state laws that prohibit gender-affirming care for minors or that criminalize providers of that care. Among Republicans, 26 percent support bills that prohibit this medical care, while 70 percent are opposed. That’s on par with where Democrats landed on the issue, with 26 percent in favor of such bills and 69 percent opposed.
Read the full PBS article to understand how far we have come and how very far we have to go.