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Poll Shows The Majority Of Americans Oppose Transgender People Using Preferred Bathroom

06/13/2014 01:12 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
James W. Porter/Fuse via Getty Images

A troubling new poll has found that the majority of Americans are not on board with letting transgender individuals use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

According to the poll conducted by CBS News, 59 percent of Americans believe that transgender individuals should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, while 26 percent are comfortable with self-determination when it comes to choosing which bathroom to use.

The survey asked participants to choose between the statements “Transgendered [sic] students should use the bathrooms/locker rooms of their birth gender” and “Transgendered [sic] students should use the bathrooms/locker rooms of their preferred gender."

The results are upsetting to say the least.

The use of public restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms by transgender individuals has long been a polarizing issue. In early 2013, transgender first-grader Coy Mathis was barred from using the girl's restroom at her school. The case sparked a national debate about school policies for transgender children, with the court eventually ruling that Mathis should have been allowed to use the bathroom of her choice.

Legislation has since been passed in other parts of the country in an effort to counter institutionalized discrimination against the transgender community. In California, for example, lawmakers passed a bill last year that allows transgender public school students to use the restroom and play on the sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.

While the American public's response to this CBS poll shows how much work we have left to do when it comes to education about transgender lives, experiences and rights, the trans community is gaining more and more visibility. Recently, "Orange Is the New Black" star and outspoken advocate Laverne Cox graced the cover of Time magazine and there has been an notable increase in discussions (though sometimes problematic in their presentation) about trans issues in the mainstream press, including popular programs like "The Katie Couric Show" and "The Colbert Report."

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