A majority of Democratic primary voters in Florida say they support a bill passed by the state Legislature that would prohibit schools from teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to students in kindergarten through the third grade.
Floridians for Economic Advancement, a political action committee that has supported candidates in both major political parties, released a poll that asked 701 Democratic primary voters for their thoughts about the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election on Tuesday. While the poll primarily focused on sampling public opinion regarding the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, it also asked respondents to weigh in on HB 1557, “an act relating to parental rights in education” that critics derided as the so-called “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
The survey asked respondents a series of questions, including: “Should students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade be taught about sexual orientation in the classroom by their teachers?” Twenty percent of those surveyed responded “somewhat no” to that question, while 32% said “definitely no.” That adds up to a narrow majority (52%) of Democratic primary voters expressing some level of disapproval with teaching young students about topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
By contrast, only 36% of Democratic primary voters in Florida thought that schools should teach students about such concepts. Eighteen percent selected “Definitely yes” as an option, while an additional 18% said “somewhat yes” in response to the question. The remaining 12% were “unsure” about whether teachers should teach young students about sexual orientation and gender identity.
The poll demonstrates a stark contrast between the views of Florida’s Democratic primary voters and the views of their elected representatives in the Florida Legislature regarding HB 1557. Not one Democrat in either the Florida Senate or the Florida House of Representatives voted to support the bill when it came up for a vote.
While the poll conducted by Floridians for Economic Advancement only queried Democratic voters in Florida, The Daily Wire surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults of all political persuasions about HB 1557. The Daily Wire poll yielded similar findings, specifically that there is much stronger support among Democrat voters than Democrat politicians.
The survey, released on March 14, asked respondents whether they agreed with the portion of the bill that declares, “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.” Sixty-four percent indicated agreement with the statement, while 21% disagreed.
Broken down by party, support for the legislation was measured at 69% among Republicans, 62% among Democrats and 57% among independents. When asked if they thought it was “appropriate or inappropriate for teachers and school personnel to instruct children in kindergarten through 3rd grade on various sexual orientations,” nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) described such instruction as “inappropriate,” while just 21% classified it as “appropriate.”
Those questioned by The Daily Wire had similar feelings about whether it was “appropriate or inappropriate for teachers and school personnel to instruct children in kindergarten through 3rd grade on gender identities, such as transgenderism.” Sixty-six percent of respondents characterized lessons about transgenderism for young students as “inappropriate,” while 20% saw such teaching as “appropriate.”
The Daily Wire poll also revealed that 79% of Americans thought that the responsibility for teaching topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity rested on parents as opposed to school officials, while just 7% felt that responsibility belonged to teachers. A supermajority of respondents (62%) believed that educators have an obligation to let parents know if their children identify as a different gender at school, while 19% disagreed.
The conservative publication also assessed the impact of LGBT activists branding the legislation as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” When presenting the legislation as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” as opposed to focusing on its components, 42% expressed support for the measure, followed by 33% who opposed it and 24% who remained unsure.
The push to pass HB 1557 comes as parents and advocacy groups have expressed concern about the prevalence of lessons about sexual orientation and gender identity designed for young students in both private and public schools. In video footage from a conference spearheaded by the National Association of Independent Schools, obtained by Breitbart, a presenter is seen promoting curriculum that would introduce the concepts of “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” to pre-k students.
Many states, including Illinois, have implemented curriculum aligned with the National Sex Education Standards in their public schools. This framework asks students in kindergarten through second grade to “define gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes” and “discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org