Surveys show overwhelming support for transgender protections

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Overwhelming majorities of Americans, across the political and religious spectrum, believe that transgender people should have the same general rights and legal protections as other people, new surveys find.

The Religion and Politics Tracking Surveys were conducted by Public Religion Research Institute amid the increased attention towards transgender issues following Chaz Bono’s appearance on ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars."

The combined surveys constitute one of the first independent studies of attitudes on transgender issues and Americans’ knowledge of transgender identity. The data recently was released by the PRRI.

“Three out of four Americans say Congress should pass employment nondiscrimination laws that protect transgender people,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones of the institute. “This strong support is also broad, persisting across party lines and the religious spectrum.”

Approximately three-quarters of Americans also favor Congress’ expansion of hate crimes legislation to protect transgender people.

Additionally, the polling found that roughly two-thirds of Americans both report being well informed about transgender people and issues, and generally understand what the term “transgender” means.

“To explore whether Americans know what the term ‘transgender’ means, we allowed them to define ‘transgender’ in their own words,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI research director. “More than two-thirds of Americans were able to give an essentially accurate definition of the term ‘transgender’ without any assistance.”

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