A report from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, released on National Religious Freedom Day, highlights a shift in Americans’ attitudes towards the use of preferred pronouns in schools. According to the Religious Freedom Index, 58% of Americans now oppose schools requiring the use of preferred pronouns, marking a reversal from 2021 when 54% supported such policies. The survey presented two hypothetical opinions, one emphasizing concerns about controversy and disrespecting differing views, and the other advocating for treating everyone with dignity and respect based on settled science.
Notably, the change in perspective was primarily driven by individuals aged 25 to 44, a demographic often in the age range to have school-aged children. Mark Rienzi, the president and CEO of Becket, attributed this shift to a broader support for parental rights. Rienzi expressed approval for the growing opposition to school rules imposing a one-sided gender ideology on children and excluding parents from the discussion. The report underlines a welcome development for those valuing parental rights and the First Amendment.
The survey, conducted between September 28 and October 5, 2023, involved 1,000 participants aged 18 and above, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. The findings suggest that, over time, more Americans are pushing back against policies that they perceive as infringing on parental rights and compelling a particular ideological stance in educational settings. This shift aligns with a broader societal conversation about the role of parents and individual freedoms in shaping the educational experiences of children.