PBS Poll Claiming Americans Reject Transgender Legislation is Full of 'Euphemisms to Prevent Understanding'

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Posted: Apr 18, 2021 8:45 PM
PBS Poll Claiming Americans Reject Transgender Legislation is Full of 'Euphemisms to Prevent Understanding'

Source: AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File

On Friday morning, Matt Loffman of PBS reported that, "New poll shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose anti-transgender laws," referencing a PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll. If this seems surprising and suspect, that's because it is. 

When it comes to being asked "Do you support or oppose legislation that would prohibit gender transition-related medical care for minors," 66 percent of a sample size of 1,066 national adults oppose. Broken down by political party, 69 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans, and 64 percent of Independents do. Only 28 percent of national adults support.

Polls love to ask about taking away or "prohibit[ing]" medical care, and why wouldn't they, when it fires people up so much. Having minors transition is hardly "medical care," but in reality the opposite. It can range from hormone therapy, to gender mutilation, to sterilization, of a minor who can't properly consent.

Another question is "Do you support or oppose legislation that would prohibit transgender student athletes from joining sports teams that match their gender identity?" Opposition from national adults is at 67 percent, compared to 28 percent who support. Those numbers are consistent among political party, with 69 percent of Democrats opposing and 66 percent of Republicans. 

Jon Schweppe, the director of policy and government affairs at American Principles Project, discussed with Townhall the issues he had with the poll. "Polls often produce different results based on how questions are worded. The Marist poll is worded with a bunch of euphemisms to prevent those polled from fully understanding what is being asked. As our polling shows, the numbers change dramatically when we get specific. Should boys and men who identify as women be allowed to compete in girls and women’s athletics? We consistently get a “no” result in the mid-70s. Should children who say they’re transgender be allowed to undergo physical surgeries or chemical treatments? Americans overwhelmingly answer no," he said. "We trust our results and have spent millions of dollars on campaign ads on these messages because we know they are effective and move voters."

It's worth contrasting the above poll results to those from Spry Strategies that Schweppe provided to Townhall. 

"Children who say they identify as transgender should be allowed to undergo cosmetic surgeries to resemble the opposite sex or take off-label medications and hormones that can make them sterile while they are under the age of 18," one statement read to a sample size of 3,500 responds says. A majority of nationwide adults, at 54.57 percent "strongly disagree." The numbers aren't close. Not only do 66.94 percent "somewhat disagree" or "strongly disagree," with the 12.37 who "somewhat disagree," but only 20.57 "somewhat" or "strongly" agree, with the 12.54 percent who "somewhat agree" and the 8.03 percent who "strongly" do so, the least popular response.

Another statement reads "Someone who was born male but identifies as a woman should be allowed to compete in girls’ or women’s athletics." Again, the results are clear, and nearly identical to those for the other question, with 54.09 percent of nationwide adults saying they "strongly disagree." Combined with the 12.86 percent of nationwide adults who "somewhat disagree," that's 66.95 percent of adults who disagree. 

Madeleine Kearns with National Review points to other concerns in her reporting. For instance, Loffman references The Human Rights Campaign, which he describes as "an LGBTQ advocacy organization, [which] says more than 30 state legislatures have proposed more than 115 bills that would limit transgender rights, from participation on sports teams to access to medical care." Kearns describes the organization as one in which "is an extremely bloated and powerful lobby group whose monomaniacal focus these days is to enshrine gender-identity ideology into law and life by hijacking the legacy of Civil Rights." 

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It should be worth scrutinizing that not only did the HRC promote the polls' results, but they are particularly vocal right now in their crusade in what they describe as transgender rights, which includes promoting transgender children.