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Americans are split almost 50/50 on LGBT+ issues, according to new research.

The polling, conducted by Gallup, shows that 51% of those surveyed agree that new civil rights laws are required to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. 46% disagree, while 3% have no opinion on the matter.

Groups most likely to support protection for LGBT+ Americans are liberals (76%), Democrats (67%), and women (61%). On the other side, those most likely to oppose new legislation protecting LGBT+ people include Republicans (27%), conservatives (29%), and those who regularly attend church (37%).

In terms of age, support for new legislation is highest among younger people, while those 50 to 64 are least likely to support the introduction of new laws.

The research also surveyed people on the issue of bathroom policies for transgender Americans. Over the last year, states like North Carolina have introduced ‘bathrooms bills’ that require transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their birth-gender, rather than their gender identity.

Polling conducted between May 3-7 2017 showed that 48% of Americans believe that transgender people should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, while 45% say that trans people should be free to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

This shows a slight change from a similar poll conducted last year, in which 50% said that bathroom use should be dictated by birth gender, and 40% said gender identity.

Again, liberals, Democrats and women are more likely to support the more progressive option. 70% of Republicans say that trans people’s bathroom use should be dictated by birth gender.

Recent research found that straight men tell homophobic and sexist jokes to mask their own insecurities.

The study, carried out by Western Carolina University, found that “disparaging jokes are a way for some men to reaffirm their shaky sense of self, especially when they feel their masculinity is being threatened.”

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