By John Gerzema, CEO
The word ‘pride’, synonymous with both military service and #LGBTQ rights in American culture, became linked in reaction to President Trump’s abrupt ban of transgender people from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
A new Harris Poll just out this weekend found a majority of Americans (58%) disagree with Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from serving, including 4-in-10 current active duty service military personnel and (41%) with past Military service.
And while (35%) of Americans support the ban, an overwhelming majority (66%) of Americans do not believe the ban should extend to transgender people in current active military service. (Present Trump has said that transgender people can still serve for now).
In voicing their disagreement, most Americans (53%) do not believe the President’s stated reasoning that not being able to afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption of transgender individuals” is a “valid reason to ban all transgender individuals”.
Moreover, a majority of Americans believe the announcement of the ban is intended to distract from other more pressing issues. Nearly three in five Americans (59%) believe President Trump announced a ban on transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces “mostly to distract from other policies and issues currently being discussed”.
So then, what should we be discussing? Only (1%) of Americans believe that banning transgender individuals from serving in the armed forces should be President Trump’s #1 priority. Instead, finding a compromise on healthcare (33%); fixing the nation’s infrastructure (21%); pursuing tax reform (13%); addressing climate change (11%); seeking immigration reform (9%); other priorities (13%).
Moving forward, we’ll be taking America’s pulse on the most pressing weekend debates in society, culture, policy and business.
*NOTE: Transgender military service was not prompted as a topic of our interest to respondents prior to this question being asked.
This survey was conducted online within the United States overnight between July 27-28, 2017 among 1,230 adults (aged 18 and over) by Harris Poll. Figures for age, gender, race, ethnicity, education level, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions based on current census data.