Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the key features of Florida’s H.B. 1557 “Parental Rights in Education” proposal (dubbed by Democrats as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill), according to a new poll released on Monday by The Daily Wire.
The national poll of U.S. adults was conducted over the weekend by market research technology platform Lucid on behalf of The Daily Wire. The survey’s 1,000 person sample was 37% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 31% Independent. Consistent with the official 2020 popular vote totals, the poll showed a +4 point advantage for President Joe Biden in the 2020 ballot among the respondents who said they voted in the election.
Unlike other surveys that have relied on a summary of the legislation written by pollsters, The Daily Wire’s researchers presented the respondents in its study with the actual language from the Florida bill’s most criticized passage and then asked them to react to it:
“Below is a passage from a new state education law. Please indicate whether you support or oppose it. ‘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.”
The poll results indicate that Americans across racial, party, and age lines support the Florida proposal:
- More than 6 in 10 Americans (64%) support the Florida bill’s ban on classroom instructions on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3, or at any level if it is not presented in a manner that is age or developmentally appropriate. Twenty-one percent said they oppose the bill.
- The Florida measure is backed by 69% of Republicans, 62% of Democrats, and 57% of Independents. There were also no notable differences among whites (63%), blacks (66%), and Latinos (62%) or by age.
- 68% of parents support the Florida bill’s classroom instruction regulations.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls said that he was not surprised by the study’s findings.
“This polling reflects what our common sense already tells us,” Sprowls said. “Only fanatics think the classroom curriculum from kindergarten through 3rd grade should include teaching little children about gender identity.”
The Daily Wire’s researchers also presented the respondents with a pair of questions asking them if they believe it is appropriate or inappropriate for teachers to instruct K-3 students on various sexual orientations and gender identities:
“Do you believe it is appropriate or inappropriate for teachers and school personnel to instruct children in kindergarten through 3rd grade on various sexual orientations?”
A clear majority of Americans (65%), including 69% of parents, say it is “inappropriate” for teachers to instruct students in grades K-3 on sexual orientations while 21% say it is “appropriate.”
“Do you believe it is appropriate or inappropriate for teachers and school personnel to instruct children in kindergarten through 3rd grade on gender identities, such as transgenderism?”
Similarly, 66% of the survey’s respondents, including 69% of parents, said it is “inappropriate” for teachers to instruct K-3 students on various gender identities, while 20% say it is “appropriate.”
Over half of the survey’s respondents (52%) also indicated they believe parents should be able to pursue civil actions against school districts if their children are taught about these topics in ways they believe are inappropriate.
According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, the poll’s national findings are consistent with what Floridians are saying about HB 1557.
“Most Floridians, no matter their orientation, agree that instruction on sexuality and gender theory is inappropriate in grades K-3,” Pushaw told The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire poll also found that nearly eight out of 10 Americans (79%) believe parents should be responsible for driving conversations on these topics with children. Only seven percent said teachers should be the ones addressing these issues.
When the respondents were asked whether educators should notify parents if their children identify by a different gender while in school, 62% of respondents answered “Yes,” while 19% said “No.” Nineteen percent said they were unsure. Two-thirds of parents (66%) back parental notifications.
“Only ideological extremists believe schools should create gender transition plans for a student and withhold that information from the child’s parents,” added Sprowls.
The Daily Wire’s researchers also wanted to study the impact of Democrats’ talking points on perceptions of the legislative package and asked the respondents, “do you support or oppose the ‘Parental Rights in Education’ proposal in Florida, which some have described as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?”
When branded as “Don’t Say Gay,” 77% of the respondents indicated they had heard of the legislation. Among those familiar with the law, a plurality (42%) backs the measure, while 33% oppose it and 24% say they are unsure how they feel about it.
However, misconceptions about the bill appear to be common:
- 39% of Americans believe the Florida bill bans the word “gay” in Florida schools. This figure includes 45% of Democrats.
- 22% of Americans, and nearly a third of Democrats, say the bill forces schools to “out” LGBTQ students to their families.
- Meanwhile, 17% say the proposal prohibits Florida students from saying they have a gay parent or relative.
Pushaw blames Democrats and mainstream outlets for misconceptions about HB 1557.
“Radical progressives know their agenda is unpopular with the majority of Americans. That’s why they resort to telling flat-out lies — and the corporate media acts as the DNC’s comms shop” Pushaw stated. “The headlines falsely called HB 1557 ‘Don’t Say Gay.’ But the word ‘gay’ isn’t even in the bill. It’s about parental rights and child protection.”
The poll suggests that network and left-leaning cable news networks may be the primary source of misinformation about the Florida legislation. Among Democrats familiar with the law, 47% said they heard about it from national networks, such as NBC, ABC, and CBS and 25% said cable networks like MSNBC and CNN.
The Parental Rights in Education bill passed Florida’s House and Senate last week and is now headed to Governor DeSantis’ desk. He is expected to sign it sometime in the near future.
This survey was conducted March 12-13, 2022 by Lucid, a Cint Group Company, on behalf of The Daily Wire. It has a margin of error of 5% with a confidence level of 95%. The survey’s respondents were provided by Lucid. It was not a poll of Daily Wire members.
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated 60% of respondents support schools notifying parents if their children are identifying by a different gender in the classroom. The correct number is 62%. The figure for Democrats is 60%.