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Majority Of Americans Oppose Trump’s Proposed Ban On Transgender Military Service

A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans oppose President Trump’s apparent decision to ban transgender service members from the U.S. military:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A majority of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Friday.

The July 26-28 poll suggested that the country largely disagrees with President Donald Trump’s announcement this week that he will ban transgender personnel from the armed forces.

When asked to weigh in on the debate, 58 percent of adults agreed with the statement, “Transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military.” Twenty-seven percent said they should not while the rest answered “don’t know.”

Democrats mostly supported military service by transgender Americans while Republicans were more evenly split.

Among Republicans, 32 percent said transgender Americans should be allowed to serve, while 49 percent said they should not. Another 19 percent of Republicans said they don’t know.

The public was also divided over the impact of banning transgender service members. Some 32 percent said it would “hurt morale” in the military while 17 percent said it would “improve morale.” Another 33 percent felt it would “have no impact” and the rest said they don’t know.

When asked about the impact on military capabilities, 14 percent said prohibiting transgender service members made the military “more capable” while 43 percent said “no impact,” 22 percent said “less capable” and the rest said they don’t know.

To say the least, these numbers are encouraging.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Sidenote: i had no idea that the military health care system was spending over 80 million a year on erectile dysfunction medication until President Trump tweeted about the YUGGE cost of trans people in the military.

    I assume that 8 million a year spent on trans people will now be used to cover more boner pills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. KM says:

    The majority of Americans do not serve and have no intentions of serving. Getting rid of someone who *does* makes no sense because who’s gonna fill that gap? Not them!

    This is a side effect of the conservative pimping the military as this great heroic force for good that must be semi-worshiped under the banner of “Respect the Troops”. Well, here they are, disrespecting the troops over something stupid – and for most people, it *is* stupid. This is just not an issue. Someone trans wanna go to Iraq, fight ISIS and get shot at? Go right ahead, hero! Means we don’t have to do it. Most people will dutifully parrot “Thank you for your service” when prompted and that’s all the thought they will give it. Trump picked the wrong fight here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Franklin says:

    @Mark Ivey: If there’s anything better for unit cohesion than boners, I don’t know what is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Kylopod says:

    Cue the usual suspects on how transgender rights are a losing issue for Dems and “why Hillary lost.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Visitor X says:

    A plurality of voters think it will harm morale to have transgender people in the military — yet a majority of voters supports their inclusion anyway, since they think fairness trumps military readiness and effectiveness.

    This is not wise, since the military’s purpose is not to be inclusive, or include all protected classes in society, but rather to effectively fight wars.

    There are legitimate medical reasons to disqualify from service those who identify as transgender, including surgeries and daily hormones which also interfere with scheduled military training and ability to be deployed. Diabetics cannot serve for similar reasons. The taxpayer money that would have been spent on costly and risky elective surgeries and decades of synthetic hormones that can cause cancer, in an effort to change sexual appearance, will be much better spent on treating our combat wounded servicemen and our veterans, and on buying equipment to keep our servicemen safe.

    Even center-left people who served in the military — such as the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Robin Beres — have said the military will be more effective if it recruits others instead of transgender people.

    The military doesn’t focus on being inclusive, which is why it does not recruit senior citizens or people in wheelchairs. It exists to fight wars.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  6. Kylopod says:

    @Visitor X:

    A plurality of voters think it will harm morale to have transgender people in the military

    You clearly misread the poll. Here’s what it said:

    The public was also divided over the impact of banning transgender service members. Some 32 percent said it would “hurt morale” in the military while 17 percent said it would “improve morale.” Another 33 percent felt it would “have no impact” and the rest said they don’t know.

    Maybe you were confused over the negatively phrased language (note that this was a question about the impact of banning transgender service members, not the impact of having them). Only 17% said a ban would improve morale. Not only isn’t that the plurality position, it’s actually the lowest of the three choices. Moreover, the vast majority of respondents–65%–felt that a ban would either harm morale or have no impact–in other words, that a ban on transgender members won’t improve morale at all. You’re trying to make an arbitrary division between the “no impact” and “harms” crowd in order to make your own position sound stronger than it is. This is the kind of misleading cherry-picking argument you expect from a lawyer or politician, not a concerned citizen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Mikey says:

    @KM: Additionally, for 99.9% of military specialties gender is irrelevant. It simply doesn’t matter if a man or woman does them, and it doesn’t matter if that man or woman is transgender. There simply isn’t a sufficient level of physical demand to make the gender of the servicemember matter.

    But what does matter today is an individual’s mental horsepower. The military is ever more technical and it takes a smart force to get the mission done. Excluding potential smart recruits for a reason that’s basically irrelevant makes no sense.

    All the blather about how “expensive” it would be to deal with transgender servicemembers is just lame, transparent pretext. I mean, boners aren’t necessary to complete the military’s mission either, but they still spend tens of millions of dollars on Viagra.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Mikey says:

    Moderator, please release my entirely innocent and perspicacious comment from purgatory…thanks…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Franklin says:

    @Visitor X:

    This is not wise, since the military’s purpose is not to be inclusive, or include all protected classes in society, but rather to effectively fight wars.

    I agree with your statement here. I believe we simply disagree on whether transgender people are inherently unfit. As McCain and others have said, if they can pass the fitness tests to get into the military, then they are fit by the only known measure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. JohnMcC says:

    @KM: Obviously you misunderstand the concept. Transgender persons cannot be REAL troops. It’s important to weed out the imposters so that the real American Heroes ™ can be elevated to unrealistic heights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod:

    Cue the usual suspects on how transgender rights are a losing issue for Dems and “why Hillary lost.”

    We’ve been over this, Kylopod. If you want to summon me, you must use the chicken blood, the correct symbol, and speak the entire incantation properly. You can’t just go “Klatu Barada Necktie” and hope for the best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Kylopod says:

    @James Pearce:

    We’ve been over this, Kylopod.

    We have? I can’t recall ever discussing the issue of transgender rights with you before. I don’t even know your positions on the issue. I was thinking of The Q here, and some commenters I encountered at another blog recently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Pearce:

    You can’t just go “Klatu Barada Necktie” and hope for the best.

    And yet you appeared. As if out of nowhere, I might add.

    Moreover, what makes you think Kylopod’s comment was specific to you? As I was thinking of the people he might have been referring to, your name never entered my conscience at all. Should I change my perceptions of your role?

    In the past, I have found you to have a refreshingly different take on some of the conversations. You seem to be turning into just another troll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. James Pearce says:

    @Kylopod: @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: Guys…..

    It was a joke.

    (Watch Army of Darkness again.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0