Metro Weekly

71% of Americans support transgender military service, Gallup poll says

Findings square with another recent survey showing a super majority of Americans support open military service

U.S. soldiers completing a military exercise – Photo: Spc. Marcus Floyd, via Wikimedia.

A new Gallup poll has found that 71% of Americans support allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.

The poll, which was conducted from May 15-30, found that Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support open military service, with 88% of the former group and 78% of the latter group expressing support for transgender troops.

However, only 43% of Republicans support allowing transgender individuals to serve, while 53% oppose their presence in the military.

Support for transgender service is higher among non-veterans (who support open service by a 73%-25% margin) than veterans (who support it at by a 56%-43% margin), although majorities of both groups believe qualified transgender individuals should be allowed to enlist.

Women support transgender military service by a 79%-20% margin, while men support it by a 64%-34% margin. Majorities of all age groups support transgender military service, though the level of support rises with youth, reaching as high as 84% among people aged 18-29.

The poll’s findings match those of other polls on transgender military service.

A recent PRRI study found that 62% of Americans say they’ve become more supportive of trans rights over the last five years, versus 25% who say they’ve grown more opposed.

That poll found that 63% of Americans supported open military service by transgender individuals, including majorities of Democrats and independents.

The Modern Military Association of America, which is challenging the constitutionality of the transgender ban in the case of Karnoski v. Trump, hailed the results of the Gallup poll, saying it shows the Trump administration is out-of-step with most Americans on the issue.

“This is a stunning rebuke of Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s attempts to ban qualified transgender patriots from serving our great country,” MMAA Executive Director and Navy veteran Andy Blevins said in a statement. “As this survey proves, an overwhelming majority of Americans — including a majority of veterans — agree that what matters is the ability to accomplish the mission, not someone’s gender identity. Transgender service members have more than proven their ability time and again, and that’s why the far majority of Americans support them over an unconscionable ban based on nothing more than blatant bigotry.”

The Gallup poll also asked Americans whether they supported allowing transgender people to use the restroom matching their gender identity or requiring them to use the restroom matching their assigned sex at birth.

Americans are split on the issue, with 51% saying trans individuals should be required to use gender-specific restrooms that match their assigned sex at birth, and 44% saying restroom use should be dictated by gender identity.

Restroom assignments based on birth gender are preferred by 78% of Republicans, 61% of men, and 58% of adults aged 30 to 49.

Conversely, 66% of Democrats, 61% of adults aged 18 to 29, and 53% of women prefer restroom assignments based on gender identity.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans say that, in large public places such as malls, stadiums, and airports, they prefer having separate restrooms segregated by gender as opposed to unisex restrooms that can be used by any gender. In comparison, 30% of Americans say they prefer unisex restrooms in public places.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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