Golden/TIPP poll: Americans back Florida’s falsely-named ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

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By: tippinsights Editorial Board, TIPP Insights

Most Americans back Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education Bill.” A plurality also thinks it is inappropriate to call the bill the “Don’t Say Gay” law. These are the key findings from a Golden/TIPP Poll completed last Friday.

The national poll of 1,305 adults asked Americans the following question: “The Governor of Florida signed the “Parental Rights in Education bill,” forbidding classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”

The responses are as follows.

  • 37% Agree strongly,
  • 20% Agree somewhat,
  • 11% Disagree somewhat,
  • 20% Disagree strongly, and
  • 12% Not sure.

Interestingly, a majority, irrespective of party affiliations and ideologies, backed the bill, except for liberals. The support by party and ideology:

  • 51% of Democrats,
  • 73% of Republicans,
  • 54% of Independents,
  • 80% of conservatives,
  • 51% of moderates, and
  • 42% of liberals.

A Tale Of Branding Disaster

The bill’s opponents called it the “don’t say gay” bill.  However, our poll shows that many Americans think it is poor nomenclature.

We asked Americans: “How appropriate is it to call the bill that forbids classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade the “Don’t Say Gay” law?” The responses tallied:

  • 23% Very appropriate,
  • 15% Somewhat appropriate,
  • 18% Not very appropriate,
  • 29% Not at all appropriate, and
  • 14% Not sure.

In sum, forty-seven percent think it is inappropriate, and 38% think it is appropriate.

The branding of the bill picked up steam. Democrats in Florida, Hollywood celebrities, President Biden, and others leveraged the inappropriate nomenclature to mount opposition. It was mentioned in the news worldwide, in the White House briefing, and at the Academy Awards.

However, if someone had taken the time to check Americans’ thoughts on the branding issue, the confusion could have been avoided. The following are the results by party and ideology:

  • 49% of Democrats think it is appropriate, and 43% think it is inappropriate
  • 50% of liberals think it is appropriate, and 46% think it is inappropriate
  • 50% of Republicans believe it is ill-fitting, and 40% think it fits well
  • 48% of conservatives believe it is inapt, and 43% think it is apt
  • 54% of Independents say it is inappropriate compared to 30% who say it is appropriate
  • 49% of moderates say it is inappropriate compared to 34% who say it is appropriate

The moral here is that Americans can see through the spin. But still, the political class, including the President, and a large section of the media fail to realize or acknowledge the disingenuous tagline. It would be better to look into the merits of the Florida law rather than believe the misinformation campaign based on a catchphrase.



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