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Most Americans believe bathrooms should be linked to biological sex, new poll finds

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

An overwhelming majority of Americans want people to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and showers that correspond with their biological sex, a new poll finds.

According to a new Crux/Marist survey,  Americans — by a 66 to 27 percent margin — do not believe those "transitioning to become the opposite sex" should be allowed to use whichever showers and locker rooms they want. A smaller, but still significant, majority — 56 to 38 percent — feel the same way about public bathroom use.

Sixty-two percent of respondents agreed that employers who object because of religious beliefs "should be protected by freedom of religion to opt out of covering medical procedures that physically change a person's sex." Thirty-two percent disagreed.

In addition, 80 percent agreed that doctors and health care professionals who, for religious reasons, "do not wish to be involved with medical procedures that would change someone's sex should be protected by freedom of religion to opt out." Only 18 percent disagreed with the same statement.

News of the poll, which surveyed 545 adults in December but was just released last week, follows reports that President Donald Trump's administration will scale back the Obama-era rule that expanded Title IX protections, which guards students from sex-based discrimination, to transgender students.

And the White House earlier this month canceled a critical hearing in a legal appeal over the transgender rule put in place by the Obama administration.

Former President Barack Obama issued a controversial administrative rule in May 2016 ensuring students would be permitted to use the restroom they claim aligns with their gender identity. State-funded institutions risked losing federal monies if the rule was not obeyed.

In August, Texas and 12 other states sued the Obama White House, claiming the directive unilaterally rewrote the definition of "sex" and "sex-based discrimination" to include gender identity. As a result, a federal judge ordered a temporary nationwide injunction on the Obama rule.

The Obama administration appealed the injunction in October and a hearing on that appeal was scheduled for earlier this month. But the Trump administration asked to withdraw the motion filed by the previous administration to roll back the injunction.

At this point, the injunction blocking the implementation of Obama-era directive remains in place.

In other transgender-related news, the Supreme Court is set to hold hearings next month on a case regarding a 17-year-old transgender student in Gloucester, Virginia, who has been barred from using the men's restroom.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board in 2015, arguing that blocking Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as a male, from using any restroom violates the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law, and Title IX, as the Obama administration defined it.

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