OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A growing number of liberal parents in Florida who vote Democrat are planning to leave the state over a law that empowers parents and protects their children from sexually age-inappropriate content in schools.
But the threat has led to a backlash that perhaps they did not expect after the state’s Republican Party encouraged them to go over their “perverted” stance, the Washington Examiner reported.
The outlet cited a study that found most registered Democrat parents “have considered leaving the state due to the Parental Rights in Education Act, and the Florida GOP is urging them to leave.”
The outlet noted further:
Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics despite containing no reference to a specific sexual orientation, the act banned classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade. The law was later expanded to include all grades. Liberal pundits and Democratic politicians loudly decried the law, saying its provisions are harmful to gay and transgender youth.
According to a new survey from the Williams Institute, a gay and transgender research center at UCLA Law School, some 40% of Florida parents had considered moving away from the state due to the implementation of the Parental Rights in Education Act. Nevertheless, a majority of the state’s residents support the law.
Abbie Goldberg, the study’s author, shared with the Washington Examiner that 53% of Democrat respondents had indicated that they had considered leaving the state, along with 40% of independents and 15% of Republicans. In contrast, 80% of Republicans said they have not considered leaving the state, along with 33% of Democrats and 40% of independents.
“Over 60% of voters support the actual language in the law, including 55% of Democrats,” Christian Ziegler, the chairman of the Florida GOP, told the news outlet. “With that said, if a Democrat Voter is passionate and perverted enough to support the sexualization of kids during school in grades as early as Kindergarten, then I would agree that Florida is probably not the best fit for them.”
According to the Williams Institute survey, public sentiment regarding the law in Florida has predominantly aligned with party affiliations. Around 89 percent of Republicans expressed support for the law, in contrast to 29% of Democrats who shared the same view. Just 20 percent of Democrats favored extending the law’s provisions to encompass all grade levels. Among independents, opinions were more evenly divided, with 47 percent backing the original version of the law and 40 percent supporting its expansion.
“It is important to understand the diverse viewpoints Florida parents have around the state’s Don’t Say Gay law,” Goldberg, a professor of psychology at Clark University, said in a statement, using the discredited nickname for the measure.
“These parents live in the same neighborhoods and send their children to the same schools. They have the power to work across differences to build strong communities that support the well-being of all children,” Goldberg added.
Among the 40 percent of Florida residents who reported contemplating relocating from the state because of the law, half expressed a strong desire to do so, while 11 percent of survey participants indicated their likelihood of moving within the next two years, the Examiner reported.
Online, several users mocked Democrat parents who said they were leaving.
— Oilfield Rando (@Oilfield_Rando) August 13, 2023
People are leaving Florida because they won’t allow pornographic books in school libraries. Really makes you think.
— 𝕂𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕊𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝𝕂🇦🇽 (@CallMeK1123) August 13, 2023
Fastest way out of Florida. pic.twitter.com/RgBB4YFtAt
— David 🇺🇸 #FloridaStrong (@Fl0ridaBoy74) August 13, 2023
Go back to NYC.
— Samuel Culper 722 (@politiwars) August 13, 2023
Red states need to pass more laws to force the Communists to leave. Pass them at every level of government. Start locally.
— filius libertate (@jasoncharles83) August 13, 2023
“In Florida, we not only know that parents have a right to be involved, we insist that parents have a right to be involved,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a 2024 GOP presidential contender, said at a press conference at the Classical Preparatory School in Spring Hill, Florida, in March 2022 when he signed the initial legislation.