January 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Poll: 70% of U.S. voters support transgender military service
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70 percent of U.S. voters back transgender military service. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A new poll has found a whopping 70 percent of the American public believe transgender people should be able to serve in the U.S. military despite policy from President Trump seeking to bar them from enlisting.

The Qunnipiac University Poll was published Tuesday in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court green lighting Trump’s transgender military ban.

Republicans were the only listed group in the poll opposed to transgender people in the military. They oppose transgender service 50-40 percent. Comparatively, Democrats backed transgender service 94-3 and independent voters support it 75-16.

Among racial groups, the greatest support for transgender service came from black Americans, who back it 90-8. White voters support transgender service 66-26 and Hispanics support it 72-13 (although a significant portion of Hispanics, 15 percent, are undecided.)

Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association said in a statement the poll demonstrates Trump anti-trans policy isn’t consistent with American values.

“It’s crystal clear that the far majority of Americans reject Donald Trump’s reckless, discriminatory attack on our nation’s brave transgender service members,” Broadway-Mack said. “Instead of singling out transgender troops for discrimination, Donald Trump should reverse course and honor them for the heroes they are. Transgender service members have proven time and again that what matters is their ability to accomplish the mission — not their gender identity.”

The poll found support overall is similar to where it stood in August 2017, when 68 percent of voters backed transgender service and 27 percent opposed it. That was months after Trump announced on Twitter ban transgender people from the military “in any capacity.”

The poll surveyed U.S. voters on a wide range of issues, finding Trump has a negative 38-57 percent job approval rating — a dip in approval compared to his 41–55 percent earlier in the month.

Quinnipiac also sought input from voters on other transgender issues. For example, the poll found 56 percent of voters think the United States is somewhat accepting of transgender people, compared to 23 percent who say the U.S. is not so accepting, 9 percent who say it is very accepting and 8 percent who say it is not accepting at all.

Asked whether transgender acceptance would be a good thing or bad thing for the country, voters were split 42-42 on saying it would be a good thing or make not much difference, compared to 12 percent who say it would be a bad thing.

The poll was conducted from Jan. 25 to 28 and surveyed 1,004 voters nationwide, according to Qunnipiac University.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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