Transgender troops serving in US military supported by 71% of Americans

Dozens of protesters gather in Times Square near a military recruitment center to show their anger at President Donald Trump's decision to reinstate a ban on trans folk from serving in the militar. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Allowing openly transgender men and women to serve in the US military is supported by 71 percent of Americans, according to new polling from Gallup.

President Donald Trump’s ban on trans troops – first announced in a series of tweets on July 26 2017 – requires trans people with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to serve as the gender they were assigned at birth.

An estimated 14,700 members of the US military are trans. Under Barack Obama’s presidency, trans people already serving in the military were allowed to be open about their trans status.

The Gallup data comes from a poll carried out between 15 and 30 May 2019.

Democrats were the subgroup most in favour, with 88 percent saying openly trans people should be allowed to serve in the military.

Republican voters were the only key subgroup in the polling where a majority opposed allowing openly trans people to serve.

Forty-three percent of Republicans were in favour, while 53 percent opposed it.

Women were also more likely than men to support openly trans people serving in the military. Seventy-nine percent of women were supportive, as opposed to 64 percent of men.

Younger age groups were also more in favour. Eighty-four percent of 18- to 29-year-olds were in favour, compared with 66 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds and 66 percent of those over the age of 65.

A majority of military veterans also backed allowing trans service members to serve while being open about their trans status. Fifty-six percent of military veterans were supportive, compared with 43 percent who weren’t.

On Tuesday (June 18), Trump’s policy banning openly trans troops from serving in the military hit a stumbling block, when a majority of lawmakers voted against funding it.

Members of the House of Representatives voted 243-183 to adopt an amendment that will block funding for Trump’s trans troop ban.

The vote came during a debate on a $1 trillion spending package that includes the military spending bill.