A majority of Utahns say they oppose accommodations allowing transgender people to use the bathroom based on the gender they identify with, rather than the gender of their birth.
The new UtahPolicy.com survey from Dan Jones & Associates finds 57% of Utahns say they oppose allowing transgender individuals to use public bathrooms by their gender identity. That number includes 48% who say they are "strongly opposed." About a third of Utahns (34%) say they support public restroom accommodations. 9% are undecided.
North Carolina lawmakers passed a controversial law, HB2, known as the "bathroom bill." The measure requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom matching the gender on their birth certificate. The backlash to the law, including the NBA threatening to pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, forced legislators to tweak the bill last week, but they left the transgender bathroom provision in place.
In May, the Obama administration issued a directive to the nation's public schools that they should accommodate transgender students in bathrooms and locker rooms. While the directive is non-binding, schools and districts could lose federal funding.
Utah and ten other states are suing the Obama administration over the directive, saying it is an overreach by the federal government. The Alpine School Board is considering rejecting $40 million in federal funding that would allow the district to ignore the federal directive. If the district goes through with rejecting the federal funds, it would require an estimated 27% increase in taxes to make up for the lost revenue.
Not surprisingly Democrats support allowing transgender individuals to use public bathrooms that match their gender identity. Republicans are steadfastly opposed, while independents also are against the accommodations.
- 73% of Democrats favor allowing transgender individuals to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. That includes 55% who are "strongly" in favor.
- 73% of Republicans are opposed. 65% say they "strongly" oppose.
- 57% of political independents are opposed while 35% favor the accommodations.
One would expect younger Utahns to be more for bathroom adaptations for transgendered people, as younger citizens nationwide are more socially liberal. Jones' polling shows that's not necessarily the case.
- 50% of millennial Utahns (18-24 years of age) are opposed, while 45% favor.
- 46% of those between 25 and 34 years old oppose making concessions while 44% favor.
- Among Utahns between 35 and 44 years old are opposed while 37% favor.
- 58% between 45 and 54 object to a bathroom compromise while 32% favor.
- 64% between 55 and 64 are opposed while 29% favor.
- 58% of those 65 and over remain opposed while 33% are supportive.
The survey was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates June 8-17, 2016 among 614 registered Utah voters with a margin of error +/-3.95%.