More Americans support than oppose Florida bill banning gender and sexuality lessons for young kids: Poll

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

More Americans supported Florida’s bill limiting classroom discussions of sexual orientation than opposed it, according to the results of a new poll, despite pollsters’ use of a misleading moniker for the legislation.

The poll, conducted by Politico alongside Morning Consult and released Wednesday, found 51% of voters supported a provision in Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill “banning the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade.” Just 35% of Americans opposed the provision, despite pollsters referring to the legislation as “the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill” in survey questions.

The “Don’t Say Gay” label was initially used by activist groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Trevor Project and popularized by multiple media outlets who regularly use the activist language in headlines.

The bill, which was passed by the Florida legislature and awaits Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature, would ban lessons on gender and sexuality for kindergarten through third grade and would require lessons on those subjects for older students to be age appropriate.

It would also require parental consent for certain health care services offered in schools and would end district policies preventing teachers from disclosing certain information to parents regarding students’ physical and emotional health issues.

The poll found nearly identical support for measures limiting lessons on gender and sexuality to “age appropriate” discussions for fourth grade and beyond, while voters were slightly less likely to support measures allowing parents to sue school districts over alleged violations of these rules. About 36% of voters supported a measure allowing parents to sue school districts for alleged violations of rules limiting the teaching of critical race theory in schools, compared to 46% who opposed it.

The poll was conducted between March 11 and March 14 and sampled 2,005 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.

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