WASHINGTON — Americans are evenly divided over which bathrooms transgender people should use, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Forty-four percent say transgender people should be required to use the bathrooms that match the sexes on their birth certificates, while 43 percent say individuals should be allowed to choose the restrooms with which they identify, according to a new Marist poll commissioned by WGBH-Boston for its series “Point Taken.”

The “Point Taken”-Marist poll found that a majority of Americans – 6 in 10 – prefer that public restrooms be separated for males and females. Just 31 percent backed gender-neutral public bathrooms.

The poll comes amid a federal lawsuit over North Carolina’s law barring transgender people from using the bathrooms they see as appropriate to their sexual identities and as the Obama administration has called for transgender schoolchildren to use restrooms matching their gender identities.

Georgia, Texas and nine other states filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the administration’s directive, arguing it has “no basis in law.”

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