• Polling

Anti-Transgender Laws Seen as Attempt to Control Americans’ Rights and Freedoms

Friday, June 16, 2023 By Rachael Russell
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.
Key takeaways
  • Most Americans know someone who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual, while only one in four know someone who is transgender; those who know a transgender person are most likely to report hearing about states passing or debating laws relating to transgender people.
  • Americans trust Biden and the Democratic Party more than Republicans on gay and transgender issues – especially protecting the gay and transgender community and their rights and freedoms – as well as on looking out for children and caring for their well-being.
  • The most effective response to attacks on the transgender community focuses on letting parents and doctors – rather than politicians and the government – make health care decisions for their children.

Majorities Know Someone Who Is Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual, But Just a Quarter Know Someone Who Identifies As Transgender

Majorities across party lines know a friend, family member, or co-worker who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual. While about one in three Democrats (32%) and independents (35%) report knowing a friend, family member, or co-worker who is transgender, only 13% of Republicans say they know someone who is.

Majorities Have Heard About Recent Laws Regarding Transgender People

Americans who have a friend, family member, or co-worker who identifies as transgender are most likely to report having heard “a lot” or “some” (71%) about states passing or debating laws regarding transgender people.

Biden and Democrats More Trusted on Protecting the Gay and Transgender Community, Looking Out for Children

Americans trust Biden and the Democratic Party much more than the Republican Party on “protecting the gay and transgender community” (net +40 Biden and Democrats overall) and “protecting the rights and freedoms of the gay and transgender community” (net +40), as Republican women trust Biden and Democrats more than their own party on both (net +2 for both).

Strongest Rebuttal to Anti-Transgender Messaging Focuses on Letting Parents/Doctors Make Decisions, Not Government

A message that “we should trust families and their doctors to make health care decisions for themselves and their children, and not allow politicians and the government to insert themselves into those decisions” is most effective against a message that “we need to protect kids from woke ideology and ban sex change hormones and gender reassignment surgery for kids” (net +12 agree).

Framing GOP Attacks On Transgender Americans Around Protecting Rights and Kids’ Well-Being Is Most Persuasive

Messaging that ties GOP attacks on transgender Americans to other unpopular positions such as “banning the right to abortion, limiting access to birth control” and “blocking common sense gun violence prevention reforms” is most concerning (47% very concerning).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from May 4-May 8, 2023 and 1,001 registered voters from June 2-5, 2023. Each survey had approximately 100 additional interviews conducted among Hispanic voters, 75 additional interviews conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, 100 additional interviews conducted among African American voters, and 100 additional interviews conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

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