How Simply Knowing Transgender Americans Can Impact Public Policy

How Simply Knowing Transgender Americans Can Impact Public Policy

In a new op-ed for The Hill, PRRI CEO Melissa Deckman, Ph.D. writes aboutcontact theory and Americans’ attitudes toward LGBTQ rights. For instance, PRRIfinds that greater diversity within Americans’ friendship networks profoundly shapes their attitudes on a range of issues that promote inclusivity. PRRI’s recent Genderand Politics survey showed that among Americans who are personally close to a transgender person, 7 in 10 oppose laws that would prevent parents from allowing their child to receive medical care for gender transition, compared with 52% of Americans who don’t know anyone who is transgender. Further, Deckman writes, only 36% of Americans overall believe it is never appropriate to discuss that some people are transgender in public schools.


Democrats and Republicans Are Living in Different Worlds

The New York Times’ Thomas Edsall takes a deep dive into competing partisan views on views of men and masculinity and the role it will play in the 2024 election. “It turns out ideas about gender and masculinity can be reliable indicators of how people vote by party and by candidate,” Katelyn Fossett, an associate editor at POLITICO Magazine. A recent study conducted by Ipsos for Politico found that 65% of Republicans agreed that “The MeToo movement has made it harder for men to feel they can speak freely at work,” compared to 21% of Democrats. Likewise PRRI’s 2022 American Values Survey, found that 68% of Republicans say society has become too soft and feminine, compared with 44% of independents and less than 1 in 5 Democrats (19%).


In Ohio, Abortion Battle Triggers Fight Over Direct Democracy

Simon Montlake at Christian Science Monitor reports that across Ohio, activists are urging voters to turn out for a special election next month to vote on a measure known as “Issue 1” that would raise the threshold for approving constitutional amendments to 60%, up from a simple majority. Ohio voters are scheduled to vote on a November ballot measure that would explicitly guarantee a right to abortion in the state constitution. PRRI finds that 66% of Ohio residents want abortion to be legal in most or all cases. Should Issue 1 pass, it would not only impact November’s abortion measure, but also make it harder for citizens to initiate future constitutional amendments.


After Refusing To Let Sikh Trooper Grow Beard, New York State Police Accused of Flouting State Law

Maysoon Khan for The Associated Press reports that a Sikh New York state trooper was barred from growing facial hair for his wedding last year, despite a 2019 state law requiring employers to let most workers follow attire or grooming obligations for their religion. According to the union representing New York State Troopers, the State Police rejected Charanjot Tiwana’s request on the basis that it posed a safety issue regarding the use of a gas mask. The union also said, however, that others within the state police force have been granted facial hair exemptions for non-religious reasons. In 2021, The Associated Press also reported that the New York State Police remained overwhelmingly white; of more than 4,700 troopers, only 4% were Black and 6% Hispanic.


What’s Buzzing?

Read PRRI’s full report “The Politics of Gender, Pronouns, and Public Education” survey here.