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POLL: Voters, Including Those With Military Ties, Strongly Oppose Banning Trans Troops

Military

"Voters say a soldier is a soldier," says a Quinnipiac University pollster.

A majority of American voters, including those in military households, say transgender people should be allowed to serve in the armed forces, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The nationwide phone poll of 1,125 American voters, conducted in the five days immediately after Donald Trump tweeted that he would reinstate the ban on trans people in the military, found 68 percent of respondents saying trans Americans should be allowed to serve and 27 percent saying they shouldn't. Among military households, the margin was narrower, but a majority, 55 percent, still said trans troops should be allowed, with 39 percent saying they shouldn't.

"Republicans opposed transgender service 60-32 percent, but every other party, gender, education, age or racial group supports transgender service by margins of 22 percentage points or higher," notes a Quinnipiac press release.

Trans people "put on uniforms and face the same risks as their brothers and sisters in arms for little reward other than protecting their country," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the polling operation, said in the press release. "Voters say a soldier is a soldier, no matter what his/her gender identity is. Voters say, 'Let them serve.'"

The poll also found respondents supportive of LGBT people in other ways. Forty-six percent of voters said more acceptance of transgender people would be "a good thing for the country," 14 percent said it would be "a bad thing," and 39 percent said it would make little difference difference. An overwhelming majority, 89 percent, said it should be illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on sexual orientation.

These opinions run counter to the views of the Trump administration, which in addition to announcing the trans military ban, recently filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a discrimination case arguing that federal civil rights law against sex discrimination shouldn't be interpreted as including discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Respondents also opposed one of Trump's signature goals, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Only 22 percent said the ACA should be repealed in full, while 40 percent said parts of it should be repealed and 33 percent said none of it should be.

The poll found 80 percent disapproved of the way Republicans in Congress are handling health care, with even 60 percent of Republicans disapproving. A majority of all respondents, 59 percent, disapproved of the way Democrats in Congress are handling the issue. Forty-eight percent had an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party overall, but 64 percent viewed the Republican Party unfavorably.

"Nobody gets high marks on health care, but Republicans take a crushing blow," Malloy said. "The message: Start over and do it right."

The poll was conducted July 27-August 1; Trump announced the ban July 26. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Read the full results here.

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