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Women are still opposed to anti-LGBT ‘bathroom’ laws, despite scaremongering campaign

Nick Duffy May 19, 2017
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US women are still opposed to anti-LGBT ‘bathroom’ laws, despite aggressive campaigns claiming trans people are a risk to “women’s safety”.

A number of US states have seen battles in the past year over Republican-sponsored ‘bathroom bills’.

Though the laws are often marketed as a measure to secure “safety” for women by banning transgender people from public toilets, they often also include much broader measures targeted at rolling back LGBT anti-discrimination protections.

Many of the arguments peddled in favour of the laws revolve around women being ‘unsafe’ in bathrooms if transgender women are also permitted to use them.

However, polling this week shows there’s one key group with whom that argument does not fly: women.

Gallup had asked: “In terms of policies governing public restrooms, do you think these policies should [1] Require transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their birth gender OR [2] Allow transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity?”

The pollster found that 52 percent of women believe that transgender people should be permitted to use the bathroom of their gender identity, compared to 38 percent of men.

Only 40 percent of women believe that trans people should be forced to use the bathroom of their birth gender, compared to 57 percent of men.

Overall, Gallup noted: “Currently, Americans are split on what public restroom access policies should be – they are about as likely to say transgender individuals should be required to use a bathroom that corresponds to their birth gender (48%) as to say a transgender person should be allowed to use a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity (45%). Seven percent have no opinion on the issue.

“There is a slight shift from last year, when Americans were 10 percentage points more likely to say that birth gender should dictate public bathroom use.”

This suggests that LGBT activists have made some inroads in attempts to counter the arguments put forwards by opponents.

Using the ‘transgender bathroom debate’ as a wedge issue on LGBT rights has been a fruitful tactic for Republicans, who have had some success in convincing voters to undermine broader LGBT rights protections.

One of the most notable instances was in the city of Houston, where in 2015 voters were hoodwinked into voting to repeal an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance after a disgusting smear campaign featured fake footage of a little girl getting raped.

After the success in Houston, the exact same ad was mysteriously re-deployed by Republican operatives in North Carolina last year to build support for the state’s anti-LGBT law.

Of course, the repulsive assertion that LGBT rights laws enable sexual assault is demonstrably false.

There are zero recorded instances, anywhere in the world, of transgender criminals  taking advantage of inclusive bathroom policies to commit sexual assaults.

However, there are many recorded instances of anti-LGBT zealots committing homophobic and transphobic attacks in bathrooms.

Related topics: bathroom, Gay, Law, LGBT, Trans, Transgender, US, US

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