PRRI Releases New Report on America and Transgender Rights
Today PRRI released“America’s Growing Support for Transgender Rights,” a new report looking at attitudes on a range of issues including local bathroom bills and transgender members of the military. PRRI finds that 62% of Americans say they have become more supportive of rights for transgender people over the last five years, compared to just 25% who say they have grown more opposed. “This broad and growing support for transgender rights from nearly every group and across party and religious lines demonstrates just how dramatically American attitudes have shifted across the last decade,” notes PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. “This emerging consensus of support for transgender rights and increasing comfort with transgender people, especially among more conservative groups, is a sign that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of transgender issues being used as political wedges.” The survey was conducted between April 9 and April 20, 2019 through telephone interviews. Read the entire report here.
Democrats More Willing to Prioritize Abortion Rights
In a recent piece for FiveThirtyEight, Amelia Thomson-DeVaux examines a recent trend among blue states and Democrats on abortion rights. Though “heartbeat bills” that effectively ban abortion have passed in conservative states like Georgia and North Carolina, similar bills have failed to get off the ground in Virginia and New Mexico. Thomson-DeVaux writes, “In the past, Democratic politicians have been more tentative on abortion — perhaps because public opinion on the issue can be difficult to navigate. Over the years, Republicans’ and Democrats’ positions on the legality of abortion have become more polarized, but although Democratic support for allowing the procedure under any circumstances has grown, there’s still some disagreement about when in a pregnancy it should be permitted.” Thomson-DeVaux cites PRRI data which shows that “73% of Democrats say Roe v. Wade was correctly decided by the Supreme Court and should be upheld.”
Trump Admin Stops Embassies from Flying Pride Flag
The Trump administration denied formal requests from U.S. embassies in at least four countries to fly the LGBT pride flag outside the embassies, according to NBC News. Josh Lederman writes, “During the Obama administration, the government granted blanket permission to embassies overseas to fly the pride flag during June. This year, U.S. diplomats said embassies were told they can display the pride flag in other places, including inside embassies, but that requests to fly it on the flagpole must be specifically approved. No approvals have been granted.” PRRI data has repeatedly shown widespread support for LGBT rights across the United States. PRRI’s most recent survey indicates that there is strong support for transgender rights in particular. About three-quarters (76%) of Democrats report they have become more supportive of transgender rights in the last five years, compared to 64% of independents and only 47% of Republicans.
The Southern Baptist Convention and a “Reckoning” on Sexual Assault
A new report in The New York Times describes a “reckoning” currently underway within evangelical communities around sexual assault. “Nearly 400 Southern Baptist leaders, from youth pastors to top ministers, have pleaded guilty or were convicted of sex crimes against more than 700 victims since 1998, according to a recent investigation by The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News. Superstar pastors like Bill Hybels and Andy Savage have been forced to resign over allegations of misconduct,” Elizabeth Dias writes. At a national convention in Birmingham, Alabama this week, the Southern Baptist Convention will try and establish ways to investigate, report and punish allegations of sexual abuse within the church. Up until now, they have resisted such practices. In 2018, PRRI found that 76% of Americans said that sexual abuse by clergy was a major problem in churches.