- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2016

A new CBS/New York Times poll indicates Americans prefer a decentralized approach to deciding how to accommodate transgender people who wish to use the restrooms and facilities of the opposite sex.

While a narrow plurality, 46 to 41 percent, believes transgender people should use the restrooms of their biological sex, a decisive majority of Americans believe the federal government has no business deciding the question.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the issue is best left to the states, in a rebuke to President Obama’s order on Friday compelling schools to regulate restrooms and locker rooms on the basis of gender identity or risk losing federal education funding. Only 35 percent of Americans believe the federal government should wade in on the issue.

The poll comes as several states have promised to oppose Mr. Obama’s order, calling his action a blatant example of executive overreach.

The results also indicate Americans oppose the U.S. Department of Justice’s involvement in the issue. The agency earlier this month sued North Carolina over a law regulating public bathroom use on the basis of biological sex, saying it violates federal civil rights law prohibiting “sex” discrimination.

A group of House Republicans is planning to send a letter to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Education Secretary John King questioning the constitutionality of the executive’s involvement in state bathroom regulations.

The poll surveyed 1,300 adults nationwide by telephone from May 13 to 17. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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