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Poll: Majority Says Transgender People Should Be Allowed to Serve in US Military

  • VOA News

FILE - A rainbow flag flies as people protest U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City, New York, July 26, 2017.

A majority of American voters say that transgender people should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll published Thursday.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they thought transgender people should be allowed to serve in the armed forces. Twenty-seven percent said they thought transgender individuals should not serve.

A little over a week ago, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that the U.S. military would no longer let transgender people serve in the military, reversing the policy established by former President Barrack Obama.

"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail," Trump tweeted on July 26.

The U.S. military's top general reacted by saying that there would be no policy change until the Trump administration issued formal guidance to the Department of Defense.

"In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, wrote in a memo to military leaders.

Most military households in favor

Military households approved of transgender people serving in the military 55 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll.

"Voters say a soldier is a soldier, no matter what his/her gender identity is," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a statement released with the survey results.

Republican voters remained the only demographic group opposed to allowing transgender people in the military. They disapproved 60 percent to 32 percent. The same poll also showed that only 19 percent of Republican voters said more acceptance of transgender people would be a "good thing for the country." Overall, 46 percent of respondents said they thought that more acceptance of transgender people would be positive.

According to the RAND Corporation, a policy research group, about 4,000 transgender people currently serve in the U.S. military.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,125 voters nationwide between July 27 and August 1 over landline telephones and cellphones.

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