A New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday finds Americans are split over whether transgender people should use the public bathrooms of their birth gender, or the gender they identify with.
According to the poll:
- 46 percent believe transgender people should be allowed to use bathrooms based on their birth gender;
- 41 percent believe transgender people should be allowed to use bathrooms based on their gender identity.
reports breaking down the results by party lines and political beliefs, the poll finds:
- 65 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of conservatives believe transgender people should use bathrooms based on their birth gender;
- 60 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of liberals believe transgender people should use the bathroom of their gender identity.
Another question in the poll addressed whether federal government or state and local governments should be in charge of the bathroom issue:
- 57 percent believe state and local governments should decide;
- 35 percent believe the federal government should decide.
By party lines, according to the CBS News report:
- 77 percent of Republicans believe the decision should be left to state and local governments;
- 42 percent of Democrats believe state and local governments should decide;
- 57 percent of independent voters believe state and local governments should decide.
Fifty-one percent of Democrats favor the federal government deciding, while 31 percent of independent voters believe it should be up to the federal government. Comparatively, only 18 percent of Republicans favor the federal government weighing in on bathroom choice.
The poll was taken after President Barack Obama issued a directive to schools about avoiding transgender discrimination. Obama said it's the responsibility of society to make sure that all children "are all loved and protected, and that their dignity is affirmed," according to USA Today
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