Texas lawmakers will gather later this month for a special session of the state legislature. Among the items up for discussion is House Bill 2899, which aims to eliminate school districts’ transgender-inclusive bathroom policies. Texas is not the first state to propose so-called transgender “bathroom bills,” and PRRI polling reveals where Americans overall—and Texans—stand on such laws.
A majority (53 percent) of Americans oppose laws that would require transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth rather than their current gender identity, while 39 percent favor such laws. Texan attitudes nearly mirror American attitudes on this issue, per an earlier 2016 PRRI survey on the issue. Most (53 percent) Texans oppose transgender “bathroom bills” while one-third (33 percent) favor them. Notably, 14 percent of Texas residents said they didn’t know or refused to answer.
Majorities of Democrats (65 percent) and independents (57 percent) also oppose requiring transgender people to use bathrooms matching their birth sex as opposed to their current gender identity. In contrast, nearly six in ten (59 percent) Republicans favor requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth, while fewer than four in ten independents (39 percent) and Democrats (30 percent) agree.
Majorities of religiously unaffiliated Americans (64 percent) and Catholics (56 percent) oppose laws that require transgender people to use bathrooms that align with their sex at birth. Other religious groups are more divided. Half (50 percent) of white evangelical Protestants and close to half (45 percent) of nonwhite Protestants favor laws mandating that transgender people use bathrooms corresponding to their birth sex. Roughly as many white evangelical Protestants (45 percent) and nonwhite Protestants (45 percent) oppose such laws. Four in ten (40 percent) white mainline Protestants favor transgender bathroom laws, while half (50 percent) are opposed. More than one in ten (11 percent) white mainline Protestants offer no opinion.
For more on this issue, read PRRI’s February 2017 Survey.
Updated July 17, 2017.