A majority of Americans do not support transgender athletes competing on sports teams with players of the gender they identify with, while an even larger percentage says they do support trans people serving in the military, a new poll has found.

The results came from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted earlier this month and released Wednesday, which found that only 34 percent of responders believed trans athletes should be able to play on sports teams that match their gender identity.

On the other side of the issue, 62 percent said trans athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that matched their gender at birth.

Four percent said they had no opinion.

However, Americans took a different position with regard to serving in the armed forces.

Sixty-six percent said they favored allowing openly transgender men and women to serve in the military.

Schuyler Bailer, the first openly transgender collegiate athlete.
Schuyler Bailer, the first openly transgender collegiate athlete. Nine states have rules barring transgender women from playing on girls’ interscholastic sports teams. 
The Washington Post via Getty Images

That number is down from 2019, when 71 percent said they were in favor.

The biggest drop, Gallup noted, came from independents.

“Political independents, meanwhile, have become less supportive than they were in 2019 — down 12 percentage points. Still, two in three self-identifying independents favor allowing openly trans people to serve.”

High school wrestler Mack Beggs.
High school wrestler Mack Beggs. LGBT advocacy groups and civil rights advocates have called trans athlete bans discriminatory.
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In total, nine states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Tennessee — have rules barring transgender women from playing on girls’ interscholastic sports teams. 

The majority were enacted in the last year, at a time when more than two dozen other statehouses are considering similar bans.

Those who oppose trans people competing in sports with cisgender people raise the point that transgender female athletes have greater strength, bone mass and muscle volume than their peers.

More than 100 people rallied at the Capitol in Boise, Idaho, in support of transgender students and athletes.
More than 100 people rallied at the Boise Capitol in support of transgender students and athletes.
TNS via Getty Images

LGBT advocacy groups and civil rights advocates, meanwhile, have decried the recent bans as discriminatory, with many arguing that most lawmakers sponsoring the bills haven’t cited problematic instances in their states.



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