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Voters split on transgender proposal, poll says

June 06, 2013|By Chris Megerian

SACRAMENTO -- Californians are about evenly divided on a proposal that would require schools to allow transgender students to participate in sports and use bathrooms based on their gender identity and not their sex, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Forty-six percent of registered voters said they opposed the measure. Forty-three percent were in favor. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points in either direction.

The proposal was approved by the Assembly last month and is now headed to the state Senate.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, said it would help make transgender students feel comfortable in school and ensure that they could fully participate in activities. Similar rules are already in place at school districts in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and officials there say they have been a success.

Dave Kanevsky of American Viewpoint, a Republican firm that worked on the bipartisan poll, said parents are hesitant about the proposal even though a majority support gay-rights issues such as same-sex marriage.

“They are reluctant to go that far,” he said.

Fifty-two percent of parents are opposed to the proposal, while 39% are in favor.

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll canvassed 1,500 registered voters by telephone May 27-June 2.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, worked on the poll with American Viewpoint.

Look for more findings in coming days.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian

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