Despite a summer of high-profile legal battles, Americans are still evenly split on whether transgender people deserve equal rights, a recent study found.
The Pew Research Center asked more than 4,500 U.S. adults whether transgender people should be allowed the use the bathroom matching their gender identity. Fifty-one percent said they should, while 46 percent said transgender people should only use the bathroom matching the gender they were assigned at birth.
The results were also split on whether wedding-related businesses should serve same-sex couples, with 48 percent saying they should and 49 percent saying they shouldn’t.
The poll results show a disconnect between how average Americans feel on the issue of transgender rights and large-scale activism from entertainers, politicians, sports conferences.
North Carolina has faced successive waves of boycotts after passing HB 2, the controversial law that prevents transgender people from using a bathroom matching their gender identity. Courts in Texas and Virginia have also ruled on the issue of transgender rights, and the debate is primed to head to the Supreme Court.
Why the disconnect? The Pew Research Center found that, while 87 percent of Americans personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, few known someone who is transgender.
“Knowing someone who is transgender is closely linked with views on the use of public restrooms,” according to a statement from Pew.