Connect with us

Miscellaneous

New poll shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose anti-transgender laws

Things will get better, and this legislation is just a momentary setback for trans acceptance

Published

on

By Matt Loffman | The rights of transgender Americans has been a growing topic of debate on sports fields, in state capitols and in Congress. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, says more than 30 state legislatures have proposed more than 115 bills that would limit transgender rights, from participation on sports teams to access to medical care. 

But two-thirds of Americans are against laws that would limit transgender rights, a new PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll found. That opposition includes majorities of every political ideology from liberal to conservative and every age group. 

These proposed bills have emerged as a new culture war, with Republican state legislators introducing and voting for them amid Democratic opposition, while a majority of Americans who identify as Republicans are against such laws, according to the poll. 

“The parties are speaking to their base people,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the poll. “The Democratic coalition is more diverse. It’s broader. The Republicans are speaking to a much narrower base, and that can put you against the overall public opinion within those jurisdictions.”  

About one half of one percent of U.S. adults are transgender, according to a recent Gallup survey. In the PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, more than half of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender. That includes 53 percent of Democrats, 39 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of independents. 

People under the age of 40 are more than twice as likely as older Americans to personally know someone who is transgender. Sixty-three percent of Gen Z and millennial voters said they do, while just 28 percent of people over 74 years old said the same.

Five years ago, less than a third of Americans said they knew someone who was transgender, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

“It’s really hard once you’re informed or you know a trans person to support one of these bills because it really strikes at the humanity of a trans person,” said Kate Sosin, who reports on LGBTQ+ issues at The 19th. “More than half of people do know transgender people and that number is only going to go up…and if that is the case, this is inevitably going to be a losing issue for lawmakers trying to make this a wedge issue, because even if you don’t support transgender rights, you don’t want to be the lawmaker pushing something that is seen as bigoted.”

Health care and trans youth

The most far-reaching bills introduced this year would limit transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming medical care. Twenty-one state legislatures have considered such bills this year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA, which also estimates more than 45,000 youth could be affected, including nearly 1,500 kids in Arkansas who will lose medical care after the state became the first in the country to enact such a law just last week. 

Fewer than three in ten people support state laws that prohibit gender-affirming care for minors or that criminalize providers of that care. Among Republicans, 26 percent support bills that prohibit this medical care, while 70 percent are opposed. That’s on par with where Democrats landed on the issue, with 26 percent in favor of such bills and 69 percent opposed. 

Republican support for criminalizing providing gender transition-related care for minors was markedly higher, at 38 percent, while only 19 percent of Democrats were in agreement. Forty-two percent of people who supported former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election said they support criminalization.

“People aren’t eager to victimize the individual,” Miringoff said, comparing Republican support on these bills to similar shifts in opinion on abortion services. “Tolerance for the individual and not wanting to discriminate against the individual is different than providers for some of the services.”

Dr. Robert Garofalo, a pediatrician who treats transgender youth at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, said gender-affirming care, which can include puberty blockers and hormones like testosterone for transgender boys and estrogen for transgender girls, is considered best practice by most medical experts. 

“Who would want anything less for their child than the ability to live their lives with an element of authenticity? That’s what gender-affirming care is,” Garofalo said. “There’s no evidence to suggest that these treatments are experimental…There’s a common understanding within most mainstream medical organizations that access to gender-affirming care for these young people saves lives.”

Trans athletes

Bills that affect access to medical care might have serious health implications, but the legislation that is getting the most attention seeks to bar transgender people from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. More than half of the proposed legislation around transgender rights this year is about limiting sports participation, and governors in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have all signed bills into law. 

But nationally, these proposed laws are unpopular. Only 28 percent of Americans overall support bills to bar transgender youth from competing on teams that align with their gender, while two-thirds oppose the bills. Opposition is consistent across the political spectrum with two-thirds of Democrats, Republicans and independents all in agreement. People who know someone who is transgender are five-points more likely to oppose these efforts than people who do not.

But while Americans across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agree that states shouldn’t pass laws regulating trans participation in sports, they are more evenly divided on whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete on teams that match their gender identity. For grade school, 50 percent of people said transgender children should be allowed to play on teams that match their gender identity, while 44 percent said they should not. In middle school, the split was 49 percent for, and 47 percent against. In high school, 47 percent were for and 48 percent against. And in college, 49 percent were in favor and 45 percent opposed. 

Support for transgender participation in sports is where American are more sharply divided along party lines. Seventy-five percent of Democrats say transgender high school athletes should be allowed to play on teams where they identify with their team mates, while more than 80 percent of Republicans say they should not. Independents are more closely divided with 44 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed. 

The statewide bans were tested last year when Idaho became the first state in the country to enact a ban on transgender women joining women’s teams. A judge temporarily stopped the law from going into effect. 

At the center of the lawsuit was Lindsay Hecox, a 20-year-old student at Boise State University and a transgender athlete. She was a track and cross-country runner in high school and hopes to one day join her university team.

“The legislation is basically being used as fear mongering against trans people, and I think trans athletes were an easy target,” Hecox told PBS NewsHour. “They word it so that I’m othered and made different when it doesn’t need to be that way.”

The National Collegiate Athletic Association and state athletic associations don’t track the number of transgender athletes competing, but a recent Associated Press analysis found only a handful of instances where such participation has led to a complaint, out of hundreds of thousands of high school athletes. Some of the lawmakers supporting the bans say they know of no transgender athletes competing in their states, but that they consider the bills to be proactive.

Advocates for the sports bans say transgender girls and women have an unfair competitive advantage, but medical experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, say there’s no evidence to support those claims.  

“There is nothing in these pieces of legislation that I think are supported by any element of truth or any element of science,” Dr. Garofalo said. “We’re not legislating sports participation based on the size of your shoe or based upon your height or other sort of immutable characteristics.” 

The International Olympic Committee first outlined its guidelines for participation of trans athletes in 2003. The NCAA has allowed transgender athletes to compete for nearly a decade, and in order to play college sports, transgender women must first complete a full year of testosterone suppression treatment, because after that time, medical experts generally agree any advantage in strength or endurance from previous testosterone levels would have disappeared. 

Protection from discrimination

The efforts in Republican-controlled state legislatures to limit transgender rights are in sharp contrast with the Democrat-controlled Congress and White House, which are pushing to expand protections for LGBTQ people. On his first day in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. Last month, three Republicans joined House Democrats to pass the Equality Act, which would extend those protections in employment and housing discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Senate has not voted on the measure. 

Sixty-three percent of Americans in this latest poll support the Equality Act, but that support is sharply divided along party lines. While 90 percent of Democrats support the bill, just 32 percent of Republicans say the same. Support also drops significantly among older populations. Nearly eight in ten adults under the age of 40 support the Equality Act. Less than half of Americans aged 75 and older agree. 

Hecox said she hopes public opinion will continue to shift in favor of transgender rights as more people hear stories like hers. In the meantime, she said she’ll continue to fight anti-LGBTQ laws in the courts.

“Things will get better, and this legislation is just a momentary setback for trans acceptance,” Hecox said. “I don’t want to just fade from the world and not have any impact on it.”

Matt Loffman is the PBS NewsHour’s Deputy Senior Politics Producer

The preceding article was originally published by PBS NewsHour and is republished by permission.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Community Services - PSA

101 Freeway set to close through downtown this weekend for construction

Closure of the 101 freeway will commence Friday at 10 p.m. & the freeway will reopen Sunday at 3 p.m.

Published

on

Map courtesy of the City of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The 101 Freeway will close in both directions this weekend for construction work on the new Sixth Street Viaduct project east of downtown Los Angeles.

Work on the bridge will close 2.5 miles of the freeway in both directions, starting where the 101 and 10 freeways split and ending where the 5, 10 and 101 interchange meets east of downtown Los Angeles, city officials said. 

The transition from the westbound 60 Freeway to the 101 will also be closed due to the project. The freeway and transition road are scheduled to reopen by 3 p.m. Sunday.

The closure is necessary to remove the temporary frame supports around the new Sixth Street Viaduct bridge.

A second closure of the same stretch of freeway is scheduled to begin Friday, Nov. 5, at 10 p.m. and continue through Sunday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m.

Map courtesy of the City of Los Angeles
Continue Reading

Community Services - PSA

LA County officials say avoid prolonged outdoor activities in Carson area

LA County Public Health recommends temporarily leaving the area where odors are present to alleviate health impacts

Published

on

The Dominguez Channel (Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Public Works)

CARSON – Los Angeles County officials have been working collaboratively since Oct. 6 to investigate and address the pungent odor affecting communities in the area of Dominguez Channel in the City of Carson.

A multi-agency response—including the County departments of Public Works, Public Health, Fire and the Office of Emergency Management, as well as the South Coast Air Quality Management District—was mobilized in response to this incident and to provide rapid relief to residents and businesses that have been affected.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Tuesday announced it has established a webpage to monitor the foul odor emanating from the Dominguez Channel that has sickened some residents and prompted numerous complaints.

To date, South Coast AQMD has responded to more than 2,000 odor complaints since the acrid scent was first reported on Oct. 3.

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán, whose 44th congressional district includes the affected areas, in her Oct. 18 letter called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency in the area.

On Oct. 15, LA County Public Works maintenance crews began spraying a natural, water-based and biodegradable deodorizer in the channel to neutralize the odor. The community should expect a noticeable reduction in the smell within 3-5 days.

The source continues to be considered as naturally decaying organic material (vegetation and marine life) at the bottom and sides of the Channel in Carson. As air monitoring of the surrounding areas continues, no other point sources for the hydrogen sulfide have been identified. South Coast AQMD, County Fire Hazardous Materials (HazMat), and Public Health continue to evaluate and monitor hydrogen sulfide concentrations and mitigate health impacts.

A bubbler system is being installed today to inject millions of tiny oxygen bubbles into the water to increase the levels of dissolved oxygen and prevent the creation of additional hydrogen sulfide gas.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updated the health recommendations for residents impacted by odors reported in Carson and surrounding communities to avoid prolonged outdoor activities between the hours of 9 p.m. through 8 a.m., based on patterns seen with air monitoring results, and whenever odors are strong to reduce exposure.

While the effort to get rid of the odor continues, Public Health recommends residents take the following actions to lessen their exposure and any symptoms experienced and to protect the health of themselves, their family, and their pets:

  1. If symptoms feel life threatening, seek immediate medical care.
  2. If symptoms are persistent, worrisome, or worsening, seek medical attention. Relocate to another area until odors go away. For assistance, call 2-1-1.
  3. Avoid prolonged outdoor activities between the hours of 9 p.m. through 8 a.m. and whenever odors are strong to reduce exposure.
  4. Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible to prevent outdoor odors from entering the residence or business. Air out the home/business when odors are not present.
  5. If residents have a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, contact an air conditioning specialist, if needed, to determine if the air filters in the system may be replaced with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) or MERV-rated filters with activated charcoal (carbon) to improve the air quality inside. If residents notice odors are stronger or symptoms are worse in the late evening or early morning hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), residents should try running their central HVAC system throughout the night, if they have not already. Temporarily relocating may be best if this does not help.
  6. Use a certified portable HEPA indoor air filter with activated charcoal to improve air quality in their home. If residents notice odors are stronger or symptoms are worse in the late evening or early morning hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), residents should try running their portable indoor air filter throughout the night, if they have not already. Temporarily relocating may be best if this does not help.
  7. Keep pets indoors. If residents notice any of the following in their pets, they should contact their local veterinarian: difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, or nausea.

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that has a very strong odor (like “rotten egg”). Its smell can be detected and cause temporary mild to moderate symptoms even below the minimum detection limit of 1 part per million (ppm) or 1000 parts per billion (ppb) of typical equipment used to detect it. Everyone should take steps to reduce their exposure when the odors are present.

People experiencing persistent, worrisome, or worsening symptoms from the odors are encouraged to contact their health care providers, especially if they have any chronic health conditions. People should also ensure that they have adequate supplies of their medications, especially if they have heart or lung conditions. In addition, Public Health recommends temporarily leaving the area where odors are present to alleviate health impacts.

For more information on protective measures to prevent odors from entering the home, residents can contact the Public Health Community line at 626-430-9821 and leave a message with their contact information and their call will be returned. The message line will be checked every hour between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day while odors persist.

If you live in the areas of Carson or West Carson, or the surrounding vicinity, County Public Works has a reimbursement program for the purchase of HVAC air filters, portable HEPA air filters, or for temporary relocation. during this public nuisance event. Please review the recommendations and guidance on “Air Cleaners and Filters to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Remove Odors” below before purchasing filters. Visit https://lacounty.gov/emergency/dominguez-channel for more information on the reimbursement program. Residents can click here to submit for reimbursement. For assistance, they can call 2-1-1.

In addition, residents should continue to call South Coast AQMD to report odors at 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7644) or use the agency’s On-line Complaint System.

Continue Reading

Community Services - PSA

Learn to Swim scholarship coming this Off Season!

Learn to Swim Scholarships will be made available for the Learn to Swim Program this upcoming Winter and Spring Season

Published

on

Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES –The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, is excited to announce that a series of Learn to Swim Scholarships will be made available for the Learn to Swim Program this upcoming Winter and Spring Season.

These scholarships will be made available at the five (5) year-round pools for kids 5-17 years old. These year-round locations are as follows:

· Belvedere Community Pool (5035 E 1st St, East Los Angeles, CA 90022)

· Castaic Sports Complex Pool (31350 Castaic Rd, Castaic, CA 91384)

· Jesse Owens Community Regional Park Pool (9835 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90047)

· San Fernando Regional Pool (300 Park Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340)

· Franklin D Roosevelt Park Pool (7600 Graham Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90001)

REGISTER TODAY!

The Learn to Swim Scholarships are being provided as a limited release, as well as a first come, first serve basis. All you have to do is complete the Scholarship Application (available online) as well as provide proof of enrollment in the Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Upon completion and submission, your application will be reviewed for acceptance.

Download and complete the Scholarship Application TODAY!

Please note that completion and submission of application forms does not ensure you are awarded a scholarship. Applications must be reviewed prior to designation of scholarship. Scholarship process must be completed for each child in the household applying and for each session. Scholarships are only for the Youth Learn to Swim Program and are not applicable for any other Aquatics program or Youth program.

For a step by step breakdown, feel free to consult this graphic.

Download and complete the Scholarship Application TODAY!

For questions, contact LA County Parks at [email protected] or (626) 588-5364

REGISTER NOW!

For questions, contact LA County Parks at [email protected] or (626) 588-5364.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular