The majority of Americans favor allowing trans individuals to serve in the military but also believe that trans athletes should be permitted to play only on sports teams of their assigned gender, according to a new Gallup poll.
According to Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, which was conducted during the first few weeks in May, 66% of respondents supported trans individuals serving in the military, down from 71% in 2019. Support was higher among Democrats (87%) than Republicans (43%), but also down slightly among all age and gender groups. Support among respondents who identified as political independents was also down by 12%, although Gallup notes that public opinion, particularly among independents, does shift “during presidential transitional periods.”
The same poll found that only 34% of Americans surveyed believe that trans individuals should be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond to their gender identity. The majority (62%) believe that trans athletes should be permitted on sports teams of their assigned gender identity only. Of the different age, gender, and political subgroups surveyed, only Democrats held a majority view in favor of allowing trans athletes on teams of their gender identity (55%), with support highest among self-identified liberals (63%).
The bottom line, according to Gallup, is that the results reflect mixed views on how the public sees issues pertaining to transgender individuals. The issues are new to most Americans who, while they favor allowing individuals to serve openly in the military, might not be ready to accept fully how traditional gender assignment is being challenged.
While acknowledging that views can shift more favorably toward trans rights, as they did for other LGBTQ-related issues, Gallup also notes that “changes in views on LGBT issues are often driven by generational change and at the moment, young Americans hold views similar to their elders.”