Majority says transgender athletes should play on teams that match sex assigned at birth: poll

New polling data released by Gallup on Tuesday found that a majority of Americans believe transgender athletes should play on sports teams that match the sex they were assigned at birth.

According to Gallup’s survey, 62 percent of Americans believe trans athletes should only be permitted to play on teams that align with their sex assigned at birth, while 34 percent said they should be allowed to play on teams matching their gender identity.

Democrats were the only subgroup in the survey in which a majority said trans athletes should be able to play on teams matching their gender identity.

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The Gallup survey also found that support for allowing transgender people to serve in the U.S. military had dropped in recent years, though a majority — 66 percent — were still in favor of allowing them to serve. In 2019, 71 percent were in favor of allowing transgender men and women to serve in the military.

“On one hand, strong majorities of Americans have supported transgender people's right to openly serve in the military,” Gallup said in its assessment. “Viewed alongside support for allowing openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ era, it's fair to say that most Americans believe that people who want to defend and fight for the U.S. should be allowed to, regardless of their identity.”

“[Transgender people in sports] is fairly new to most Americans, though, and the public has changed its mind on LGBT issues in recent memory. So, while there is currently considerable resistance to letting athletes play on teams according to their gender identity rather than their birth gender, it's possible that Americans may view the issue differently down the line,” Gallup added, noting, however, that most young people appeared to hold similar views to their elders when it came to this issue.

Gallup's survey was conducted from May 3 to 18 and included 1,016 adults from all 50 U.S. states. The results had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points with a 95 percent confidence level.