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Support Grows In Texas For Transgender Rights, Survey Finds

Demonstrators rally outside the governor's mansion in 2017, in opposition to Senate Bill 6, which would require transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex they were assigned at birth.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
Adrienne Anemone and other demonstrators protest the Texas Legislature's so-called bathroom bill in front of the governor's mansion in 2017.

Texans have become more supportive of transgender rights in recent years, a new public opinion survey suggests. 

The Public Religion Research Institute interviewed 1,100 people, including 150 Texans. Six out of 10 Texans said they've become more supportive toward transgender rights compared to their views five years ago.

The institute's CEO, Robert Jones, said Texans' views mirror national attitudes – especially when it comes to issues such as serving in the military.  

"Nearly two-thirds of Texans – 63 percent – actually oppose the transgender military ban and actually would favor transgender military service again," he said. "That’s very similar to Americans as a whole."

President Donald Trump first announced plans for a ban on transgender people serving in the military in July 2017. The policy took effect this year after being held up by several legal challenges. 

Jones said one issue where Texans remain divided is over so-called bathroom bills. These measures would require a transgender person to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex assigned to them at birth. 

"They're divided fairly strongly along party lines on this question," he said, "with the majority of Democrats supporting transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice and Republicans opposing that."

A bathroom bill failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2017 after strong opposition from LGBTQ and business groups. 

Becky Fogel is the education reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @beckyfogel.
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