Despite the White House’s harsh condemnation of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, a majority of Democratic voters support the legislation, according to multiple polls.
Signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 28, the Parental Rights in Education Bill — HB 1557 — prohibits classroom instruction regarding “sexual orientation or gender identity” for children in kindergarten through third grade.
Supporters of the bill argue such laws are necessary to combat the growing prevalence of LGBT activism and controversial “gender theory” training that is becoming common in public schools across the country. Opponents from the left side of the aisle, including even Joe Biden’s White House, have aggressively condemned the bill as hateful and discriminatory.
Nevertheless, according to multiple polls, it appears that a majority of Democrats support the very language in the bill that has led to it being (inaccurately) dubbed as “Don’t Say Gay.”
Public Opinion Strategies conducted a national survey of 1,000 registered voters from March 25 to March 28 with a “credibility interval” +/- of 3.53 percentage points. The participants were presented with the language of the bill and then asked whether they supported or opposed the legislation.
Fifty-five percent of Democratic voters supported the most controversial portion of the bill, which reads: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in Kindergarten through third grade or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
In addition, 58 percent of independent voters, 70 percent of Republican voters and 67 percent of parents supported the legislation.
Another poll, commissioned by Floridians For Economic Advancement and conducted by Alvarado Strategies, found similar results.
The poll surveyed 701 likely Democrat primary voters in Florida from March 17 to March 20. The margin of error was not provided.
When asked if “students in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade” should be “taught about sexual orientation in the classroom by their teachers,” a majority of Democrats said “no.”
52 percent of Democratic voters answered with either “somewhat no” or “definitely no.” In addition, 36 percent said either “definitely yes” or “somewhat yes,” and 12 percent of respondents were “unsure.”
A third poll, from Politico and Morning Consult, found similar results. The poll surveyed 2,005 registered voters from March 11 to March 15 with a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.
The results suggest that 50 percent of registered voters support “banning the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade,” while 34 percent oppose it.
In addition, 52 percent of Americans support “limiting lessons” on such topics and 41 percent support “allowing parents to sue school districts over alleged violations” of such a law. Opposition for both propositions sat at 33 percent and 43 percent respectively.
Despite multiple polls showing majority support among American registered voters, President Biden’s administration remains in opposition to the bill.
According to the U.K.’s Independent, on April 4, White House press secretary Jen Psaki described the bill as reflective of “misinformed, hateful policies that do absolutely nothing to address the real issues.”
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“Parents across the country are looking to national, state and district leaders to support our nation’s students, to ensure that kids are treated equally in schools, and this is not a reflection of that,” Psaki said.
If the above polls are accurate, it appears that a majority of Democratic voters are much more in line with DeSantis’s view of the legislation.
Speaking in front of a sign that says, “Protect children/Support parents,” Governor Desantis says this image of the “Genderbread man,” is one of the reasons the state needs the so-called “Don’t say gay bill.” https://t.co/tETUUI7jta pic.twitter.com/DWkTwA05jv
— CBS4 News Gainesville (@mycbs4) March 28, 2022
“As many of you know, I think the last couple of years have really revealed to parents that they are being ignored increasingly across our country when it comes to their kids’ education,” DeSantis said at a bill signing ceremony on March 28.
“We have seen curriculum embedded for very, very young children, classroom materials about sexuality and woke gender ideology. We have seen libraries that have clearly inappropriate pornographic materials for very young kids.”
“It’s trying to say that they can be whatever they want to be. This is inappropriate for kindergartners and first graders and second graders. Parents do not want this going on in their schools.”