Even Democrats agree that children in kindergarten through third grade are too young to learn about sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a new poll.
A majority of likely Democratic primary voters in the state of Florida support controversial parental rights legislation that LGBTQ+ activists, the Democratic Party, and the national media have inaccurately called the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
These results come from a poll conducted by Floridians for Economic Advancement, a political action committee that supports candidates from both major parties. The group's survey asked 701 likely Democratic primary voters about language from the Parental Rights in Education bill that was recently passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The survey asked, "Should students in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade be taught about sexual orientation in the classroom by their teachers?"
By a margin of 52-36%, a majority of the most politically active Democrats in Florida said "definitely no" or "somewhat no" in response to that question.
The language used in the survey's question closely resembles the actual language of HB 1557, which says that "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."
Florida Democrats and LGBTQ+ activists have waged war on this legislation, making it a top priority in their messaging. They inaccurately characterized it as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, a name adopted by local and national media, a name that falsely suggested that Republicans were attempting to make it illegal to talk about gay people in school.
The DeSantis administration has vigorously defended the bill, accusing Democrats and the media of waging a disinformation campaign against it.
“Most Floridians, no matter their orientation, agree that instruction on sexuality and gender theory is inappropriate in grades K-3,” said DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw, after the Daily Wire published the results of another poll that found bipartisan support for the Parental Rights bill.
NBC News reporter Marc Caputo, who shared the Floridians for Economic Advancement on Twitter, recently criticized the news media for inaccurately covering HB 1557.
“While legislative intent does matter, what does also matter, when you challenge legislation, is you first have to look at the four corners of the document, and see what it actually says,” Caputo told WFLA-TV in an interview Sunday.
“The bill does not say, ‘don’t say gay,'” he said. “It says, don’t teach about these issues, in general. So, you know, the reality is, ‘don’t say gay’ is technically not an accurate description.”
“We made a big deal during Trump years, and rightfully so, and critics did, that the news media needs to start calling lies lies, and be very clear if something was baseless, was without fact, was supported or not supported by evidence or without evidence, and if something was false, we’d say he falsely stated it,” Caputo continued.
“Well, to say this actually says ‘don’t say gay’ is false,” the NBC reporter asserted.
“For us to say, ‘oh, the “don’t say gay” bill,’ that would be a similar thing — similar, not exactly the same — of us during Obamacare saying, ‘Oh, well the Obamacare bill is the “death panel bill,” because that’s what the opponents call it.’ Well, it wasn’t the ‘death panel bill,'” Caputo said.