Progressive poll finds Floridians opposed to bans on LGBTQ books, DEI programs
'We Say Gay' billboards. Image via Cedar Key Progress.

Pollsters also found voters split on the 'don't say gay' bill, but supportive of bathroom restrictions.

Whatever Florida voters think of Gov. Ron DeSantis, a new poll suggests most Floridians oppose many of his policies as anti-LGBTQ.

A poll by Civiqs found 50% of Florida voters oppose a new ban on diversity, equity and inclusion programs at Florida universities and colleges. Additionally, 48% oppose a ban on LGBTQ books in Florida schools, an issue on which has given Florida national notoriety after books were banned in classrooms.

Cedar Key Progress, a liberal political committee that just sponsored six “We Say Gay” billboards up around the state, commissioned the survey. The billboards will stand through June, Pride Month, and reference another bill DeSantis has touted but which has drawn scorn from the left. That would be a parental rights in education bill dubbed by critics as the “don’t say gay” law.

“The stakes have never been higher than they are right now for the trans and queer community,” reads a statement from Cedar Key Progress. “Florida Republicans are trying to make it so that our state is unsafe for anyone who isn’t a Christian, straight, white man, and we won’t stand for being known for all of this bigotry and hate. We say gay because the Florida we know welcomes everyone, whether you’re trans or cis, gay or straight, Black, brown or white.”

Billboards will appear in Tallahassee, Pensacola, Yulee, Titusville, Winter Haven, and Summerfield starting May 30.

A deeper look at the survey results shows Floridians divided on many issues.

Pollsters asked how voters feel about removing books mentioning gay or transgender people and history from school libraries, and found 48% oppose that action while 42% support it. The results show that while 72% of Republicans support the new restrictions, 49% of independents and 87% of Democrats do not. Also of note, while male respondents were closely divided, 51% of women oppose the content bans while just 34% support them.

The survey shows 50% oppose the Governor’s ban on DEI programs in higher education, one of the issues highlighted during his presidential campaign launch on Twitter. Only 39% of voters support the ban. Again, the anti-DEI legislation has support among Republicans, with 70% approving. But independents oppose it 48% to 41% and 91% of Democrats dislike the ban compared to 3% who support it. The bill has the support of 46% of White voters, but is opposed by 88% of Black voters. Hispanic voters break against the proposal 47% to 43%.

It’s unpopular among those with no college education, with 45% opposed and 42% supportive. But the law related to higher education is less popular the more college education individuals have. About 60% of college graduates oppose the DEI ban, and 62% of post-graduate-educated voters are against the restriction.

On the “don’t say gay” law, which the state Board of Education expanded through 12th grade this year, the public appears evenly divided. About 46% support the law and 46% oppose it. Notably, independents break in favor of the law, with 47% supporting it and 43% opposed to it.

But there are issues where the public narrowly supports new laws seen as targeting the LGBTQ community. Results show 47% of Floridians support a law recently signed by DeSantis that blocks transgender people from using bathrooms respective to their gender identity and requires use of public restrooms based on gender assigned at birth. Just 39% oppose the law. While 67% of Democrats are opposed to the bathroom segregation law, 47% of independents support it and only 38% are opposed. About 79% of Republicans support the law.

Pollsters surveyed 400 Florida adults May 18-22. Results have a 5.8% margin of error.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Mercury Shampoo Ed 👍

    May 30, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Ron DeSanctimonious is a shooting star. Orange Berlusconi will easily beat..then of course Orange Berlusconi will crash and burn again. It’s a golden age for the Dems nationally. The states bare the brunt of the Taliban Sharia assault, the right wing police state, and the attack on the lower classes.

  • Don’t Look Up

    May 30, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    Progressives are motivated. Ron DeSantis could lose Florida to Joe Biden.

  • Bruce, Richard

    May 30, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Has a Conservative, no book should be banned. The Gov, and various school boards are not banning any book. No one is stopped from buying any book. The taxpayer, on the other hand, is not obligated to buy every book ever published. Not every student in a taxpayer supported school is required to read every book ever published. Parents can buy any book they want and make their children read it. The Gov’t is not a parent. Social activists can only control what their children do, not other people’s children.

    • Bwj

      May 30, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      You say “social activists can only control what their children do, not other people’s children. ” Yet that is exactly what the conservatives are doing. Case in point, the parent who wanted Amanda Gorman ‘s poem removed. The district restricted access. That is not an isolated case in Florida. There are districts where a resident can challenge a book even if that resident doesn’t have a child in the school.

    • Ocean Joe

      May 30, 2023 at 1:47 pm

      Your editing is fine, just dont try to edit for others what they can read and then deny it’s censorship.
      Not everyone can afford to go out and buy books. When you pull books from the school or public library you limit access.

  • Bruce, Richard

    May 30, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Sorry can’t edit. Should read “As a conservative…”

  • EvelynLozada

    May 30, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    Mike, you wrote a fantastic essay. I appreciate your efforts; I’m presently making over $35,000 per month from a simple internet job! I know you’re making a lot of money ve-08 online today, beginning with $28,000 and working your way up.
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  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    May 30, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Show me just ONE example of a group who banned books, thoughts, and ideas who were the Good Guys.


      May 30, 2023 at 3:40 pm

      Rhonda Santis

  • just sayin

    June 1, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Shocking poll results.

Comments are closed.


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