More than half of voters likely to participate in Florida‘s Democratic primary this summer support the state’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, a new poll has found.
Commissioned by local political action committee Floridians for Economic Advancement, the survey asked 701 likely voters their thoughts on the legislation – officially the ‘Parental Rights in Education Bill’ – which limits LGBTQ discussion in schools.
The bill would outright ban teachers for speaking about sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten to third grade, while also limiting discussions about those topics in other grades.
It also allows parents to sue districts over alleged violations of the sexual orientation and gender identity bans, and requires teachers to notify a student’s parent if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health – something LGBTQ advocates argue could lead to students being outed to their parents.
The poll found that 52 percent of Democratic voters surveyed, roughly 365 people, oppose the Governor Ron DeSantis-championed policy, saying students in that age group should not be taught about sexual orientation or gender identity in class.
A further 12 percent remarked that they were unsure of their stance on the bill.
Meanwhile, just 36 percent of those polled said they opposed the legislation.
The results come just days after a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll revealed that a majority of Americans support the guidance, with 51 percent of 2,005 respondents revealing that they back the bill.
Only 34 percent, meanwhile, said they are against the bill.
The findings show that despite protests seen across the country – including walkouts and protests by Disney and Disneyworld employees maddened by CEO Bob Chapek’s tepid response to the enactment – not only do the majority of American voters back the bill, but a majority of Democrats in Florida do as well.
The results also suggest that activist opposition to the bill, passed last week, is likely backfiring.
The enactment – which will become law July 1 – has been widely condemned by Democrats and the media since it was passed by the State Senate on March 14.
The White House labeled the bill a ‘form of bullying’ hours after it was passed, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki, 43, saying it ‘would discriminate against families, against kids, put these kids in a position of not getting the support they need at a time where that’s exactly what they need.’
President Biden himself branded the bill as ‘hateful’ last month, in a tweet that similarly assured members of the LGBT community that his administration would ‘fight’ to ensure that their rights are protected, especially gay or transgender children that would be affected by the bill.
‘I want every member of the LGBTQI+ community – especially the kids who will be impacted by this hateful bill – to know that you are loved and accepted just as you are.
The president, who previously supported a ban on federal funding for schools that were ‘encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative’ as a senator in 1994, added: ‘I have your back, and my Administration will continue to fight for the protections and safety you deserve.’
Left-leaning celebrities have also spoken out against the enactment, including stars like Mark Ruffalo, Mark Hamill, and Shawn Mendes.
This week, Disney staffers a multiple Disney locations across the country – and among different subsidiaries including Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm –
followed a week of smaller-scale walkouts during 15-minute afternoon breaks.
Backlash has also seen Florida citizens take to the streets protest the measure.