Black voters overwhelmingly support LGBTQ rights except when it comes to trans athletes

A women's sports team wearing red jerseys in a huddle
Photo: Shutterstock

While Black voters generally support same-sex marriage and LGBTQ anti-discrimination efforts, a majority oppose letting transgender students play on school sports teams matching their gender identity, new polling has found.

The poll – which was conducted by the non-partisan polling group the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Black media website TheGrio – asked 1,000 Black adult voters their feelings on various social issues.

The poll found that 78 percent of Black voters support Congress updating the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This includes 58 percent of Black voters who identify as conservative.

Additionally, 68 percent of respondents said they supported Congress passing a law to protect same-sex marriage. Respondents’ ages affected their opinion on this issue. Roughly 78 percent of respondents ages 18 to 29 supported congressional protection of same-sex marriage, compared to just 55 percent of respondents ages 65 and above who supported the same action.

The poll found that 58 percent of respondents supported allowing public school teachers to teach students about sexual orientation and gender identity. However, this number decreased to 52 percent among those identified as parents of children under the age of 18. 61 percent of non-parenting respondents supported LGBTQ content in schools.

Despite the respondents’ general support of LGBTQ issues, only 43 percent of respondents supported allowing trans student-athletes to compete on sports teams matching their gender identity. Comparatively, 56 percent of respondents opposed this.

“A majority (56 percent) of young Black voters aged 18-29 are in support, as are six in ten Black voters who identify as LGBT (62 percent) and about half (52 percent) of liberal Black voters,” TheGrio and KFF noted about the trans sports question.

The results suggest that the trans community may have to do more to persuade voters about the issue. A 2021 poll found that only 42 percent of U.S. adults personally know someone who is transgender. Studies have shown that voters are more sympathetic to social groups that they know personally.

The issue of trans sports has been complicated by the fact that trans athletes are a relatively new field of study in sports science. Anti-trans voices have accused trans athletes of wanting to steal sports scholarships, awards, and spaces from cisgender female athletes. In reality, most trans students just want the opportunity to play sports alongside their classmates.

In addition to answering questions on LGBTQ rights, nearly 80 percent of poll respondents said that the overturning of abortion rights by the Supreme Court was a bad thing.

A large majority of respondents also agreed that racism was a major problem in the Republican Party and that the Democratic Party is more committed to electoral integrity than the Republican Party.

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