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Study Shows Religion, Visibility Play Big Part in Transgender Acceptance

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A Pew Research Center study released Monday examined views of transgender issues along religious lines. And the results show that the less religious someone is, the more apt they are to accept transgender people. 

In a survey conducted in August and September 2017, Protestants, Catholics, non-religious and atheist Americans were asked if they think that American society has gone too far in accepting transgender people. The numbers show that White Evangelicals are by far the least tolerant.

According to Pew's results, most white evangelical Protestants (61%) say society has "gone too far" when it comes to accepting people who are transgender. 

Among those supporting transgender people, other Christian groups are more evenly divided on these questions. Catholics and White Mainline Protestants show near identical numbers with (34%) saying that America has not gone far enough in accepting transgender people. Black Protestants were most accepting with (40%) shoring support.

And most religious "nones" (57%) say society has "not gone far enough" when it comes to accepting people who are transgender, and that transgender individuals should be allowed to use public restrooms corresponding to their current gender identity (70%).

What is perhaps most telling in the survey is the visibility factor. 

Only one quarter (25%) of White Evangelicals say they know someone transgender compared to (41%) Black Protestant and White Mainline Protestants. Only 35% of Catholics say they know someone transgender. The highest area of visibility was among Atheists who came in at half (50%).

"That, to me, just underscores the importance of trans people who have the courage and ability to come out," said Hermant Mehta on The Friendly Atheist blog site. "When you know people who are trans, it makes it that much harder to demonize them. That rule applies to just about every minority group, whether we're talking about the color of your skin, your religious beliefs, or your sexual orientation."


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