Poll: Majority support law allowing transgender people to use bathrooms that align with their identity

Poll: Majority support law allowing transgender people to use bathrooms that align with their identity
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A majority of voters would support a law requiring public institutions to allow transgender people to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity or stated sex, according to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

The survey found 54 percent support for such a law, with a plurality, 44 percent, saying the Supreme Court should rule on the matter rather than leaving it up to the states, at 34 percent, or Congress, at 20 percent. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they would support a Supreme Court ruling finding that transgender people have a constitutional right to use a bathroom that aligns with their identity.

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“There has been a sea-change in public opinion on use of public restrooms by transgender people, and a narrow majority would favor a constitutional ruling letting people use the restroom of their gender identity,” said Mark PennMark PennPoll: Majority say Hunter Biden's role on Ukrainian energy board was bad judgment Majority of Americans see impeachment inquiry as fair: poll Poll: Trump approval steady at 46 percent MORE, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll.

“Surprisingly, 44 percent of the public would prefer the Supreme Court to decide the issue rather than leave it to the states or Congress. This suggests the public does not think either states or Congress is prepared to handle social issues like this.”

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court declined to take up a challenge to a transgender bathroom policy for a Pennsylvania school district, allowing an order that transgender people be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room aligned with their gender identity to go into effect.

The public is still split on the question of which bathroom transgender people should use, with 50 percent saying they should be required to use the bathroom aligning with the sex they were assigned at birth and 50 percent saying they should be able to use the bathroom that best aligns with their identity.

Seventy percent of Republicans say transgender people should use the bathroom of their birth sex, while 64 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents say they should be able to use the bathroom that best aligns with their identity.

There is also a gender gap, with 54 percent of men saying transgender people should use the bathroom of their birth sex and 54 percent of women saying transgender people should be able to use the bathroom that best aligns with their identity.

A strong majority of voters, 68 percent, say transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military.

The Trump administration's ban on most transgender Americans serving in the military took effect last month.

“Generally this is now a 50-50 issue, whereas in the past majorities opposed any use of bathrooms on the basis of gender identity,” Penn said. “There is some concern, however, about athletic competitions and use of stated sex over birth sex.”

A plurality of voters, 45 percent, said it would be unfair for athletes of one sex to compete against transgender athletes. Thirty-two percent said they are unsure, and 23 percent said it would be fair.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,295 registered voters was conducted from May 29 to May 30.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll throughout 2019.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.