By Brianna Crosby
A recent poll, that CNN/ORC conducted, showed that the majority of Americans oppose laws enacted to limit the usage of transgender individuals in public restrooms to their biological sex. The poll read that 57% of Americans are not in favor of such bills. Along with the 57% discouraging bills like North Carolina’s bathroom law, around 75% are strongly in favor of laws guaranteeing equal protection of the transgender population on private property, in the workplace, and in public.
The poll showed some partisanship differences. 62% of democrats and 58% of independents were either strongly opposed, or somewhat opposed to such bills becoming enacted. Republicans, on the other hand did not have such high numbers. However, nearly half were alongside the majority of democrats and independents, with 48% opposing, and 48% supporting. Republicans are nearly equally split on the issues surrounding transgender rights.
This split within the Republican party, may follow the differentiation in opinions on the issue possessed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz-who recently suspended his campaign for the republican nomination, and republican front runner Donald Trump. Cruz, on one hand has spoken numerous times of his support for the North Carolina bill. Trump, on the other finds the bill unnecessary, and speaks out against it.
This poll was conducted right before the United States sued North Carolina for their transgender bathroom law. The U.S Department of Justice has threatened to reduce hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the North Carolina Department of Safety and the University of North Carolina. The Justice Department claims that the North Carolina Bill violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, sex, national origin, color and religion.
The federal government is calling for a remedy of the bill, so that it does not violate the Civil Rights Act. In response, North Carolina governor, Pat McCrory, followed suit back on the basis of a skewed interpretation of Title VII.
It will be interesting to see what role public opinion will play in the suits that follow. Perhaps it will be the deciding factor, or maybe it will play little role at all.
The poll, released on May 9th, can be viewed here.