The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, if passed, would be detrimental to LGBT youth.
Despite knowing that, Florida voters just barely oppose the bill, according to a poll.
The Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at the University of North Florida polled a sample of 685 voters registered statewide and found 49% of respondents oppose the legislation and 40% support it. The bill, HB 1557, and its sister bill SB 1834, would prohibit discussions on gender identity and sexual orientations in schools.
When splitting the votes between Democrats and Republicans, the contrasts between the parties become clearer.
Among Republicans, 44% strongly approve of the legislation, compared to 19% of Democrats. Men were more likely to feel that way than women, but only by 2 percentage points.
Whites and Hispanics were similarly strongly in favor of the legislation (32%). Among those who identified as Black, 26% felt that way.
Age also played a strong factor in these bills. Among 55- to 64-year-olds, support for the bills is the strongest, with 48% somewhat or strongly supporting the idea that teachers should not encourage or allow these discussions.
Those between the ages of 18 and 24 felt differently, however. The poll shows 35% strongly or somewhat approve of the legislation and 51% somewhat or strongly disapprove. The poll has a sampling error of 3.74 percentage points, PORL officials said.
Respondents were also told that if the bills become law, parents would have the right to sue school districts if they believed a policy or practice was being violated on this issue, according to Floridapolitics.com.