U.S. voters across the political spectrum believe the flood of anti-LGTBQ+ legislation nationwide—including the wave specifically aimed at the transgender community—is "excessive, political theater" designed to sow further division in the country and win partisan points.
That's one of the key findings of a new poll released Monday by Data for Progress which showed that "72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is 'too much legislation' aimed at limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America."
Citing nearly 430 separate bills that have moved or are moving through state legislatures this year, the survey found that the large majority of U.S. voters believe the Republican Party is using such proposals as a "wedge issue" to sow division or gain political advantage.
Writing on the poll's results, Data for Progress pollsters Erin Thomas, Grace Adcox, Lew Blank, and Isa Alomran argue in a blog post that the Democratic Party as a whole "should be doing more to advocate for queer and trans people" in the face of such relentless and widespread attacks by the GOP.
"Political leaders should not hesitate to call out Republicans on their manipulative political tactics," the trio writes. "Furthermore, they should use their platform to make the country more aware of queer people and queer issues."
The poll specifically asked respondents this question and 56% of likely Democratic voters said the party should be doing more while 63% of Independent or third-party voters agreed.
Another thing made clear in the poll is that Republicans are losing the narrative war at a national level with voters even as their state-level assault on trans and gay rights runs at full steam.
According to the survey, 57% of likely voters overall agree "that transgender identities occur naturally when free societies permit individuals to identify outside of societal norms, whereas only 33 percent view transgender identities as a 'woke' invention."
In their conclusion, Thomas, Adcox, and Blank say that GOP lawmakers approving "anti-LGBTQ+ legislation are out of step with the American electorate," while the majority of likely voters oppose these legislative efforts and will support Democratic politicians and lawmakers "who directly fight" back to oppose them.
"Our polling highlights that knowing trans people and experiencing queer culture significantly improves likely voters' support for trans and queer rights," they wrote. "Increasing public awareness and understanding of transgender and queer people shouldn't solely be the responsibility of trans people."
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams and was authored by Jon Queally.