Political strategists and activists say transgender rights will become a focus for GOP primary battles that will push candidates further to the right. So far this year, 54 bills restricting transgender rights have passed in 18 states, and a new poll finds many Americans favor such laws. Political groups are spending millions of dollars on advertising about medical care and athletic competition for individuals who identify as transgender, or having a different gender identity than the sex they were assigned at birth.
Class discussion: A tiny fraction of American adults – one-half of one percent – identify as transgender, according to a study last year by researchers at UCLA. Why do politicians spend so much time talking and campaigning about transgender issues? Are these issues important to you? Why or why not? Are these debates involving a small minority distracting voters from concerns which impact many people, such as the economy or gun violence?