New data released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that despite the rising number of US laws attempting to bar trans athletes from participating in school sports, 73% of Americans disagree with these regulations. The HRC interviewed 1,005 participants, and found the majority believe trans youth should be “allowed opportunities to participate [in school sports] in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.” 89% of Democrat voters opposed the anti-trans laws, compared to 56% of Republicans.
The HRC poll also found 70% of Americans backed the newly proposed Equality Act, which aims to expand on the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ensure LGBTQ+ people are free from employment, housing and education discrimination across the nation. In response to the results, HRC president, Alphonso David, said: “We see that Americans overwhelmingly believe that LGBTQ+ people should be able to live free from fear of harassment and discrimination by guaranteeing the same federal anti-discrimination protections that other Americans have enjoyed for decades.”
The data contradicts poll results which were released earlier this month by Politico and Morning Consult, and found over half of respondents supported a law against trans athletes in Mississippi. The HRC referred to this survey as a “snapshot rooted in right-wing public disinformation”. The HRC also found that support for trans athletes increased when its participants were informed that “local schools, state athletic associations, and the NCAA have already implemented policies that ensure a level playing field for all students while also protecting trans youth.”
Over 20 states are currently considering bills to limit young trans athletes, with Mississippi being the first state to officially pass the law in 2021. LGBTQ+ activists and allies have expressed concern about the impact this hostility will have on trans youth, with over 500 student athletes joining together to demand the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) take action to protect trans people.