AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas-based LGBT advocacy helped spark a grammar debate this week over whether an errant comma in the stridently anti-homosexual Republican Party of Texas platform can be read as saying the majority of Texans are gay.
The plank that was approved by delegates at the party’s convention this month reads: “Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”
Lone Star Q, which describes itself as the state’s No. 1 source for LGBT news, asked on Twitter on Wednesday to have a “grammar debate” over the wording.
In response, grammarians pointed out that placement of the final comma in the plank could lead to understanding it to mean that homosexuality is a chosen behavior shared by the majority of Texans. They also noted that “nations” should have an apostrophe and that by using “has been,” the plank gives the impression that homosexuality has been ordained by God.
Party officials did not respond to requests to comment.
The party, which dominates Texas politics, has been hostile toward homosexuality for years. Its platform has said homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable lifestyle and gays should not be allowed to marry.
Over the years, the party’s platforms have favored a number of hard-right positions, such as cutting off funding for about a dozen U.S. government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, abolishing the Federal Reserve, a return to the gold standard for the U.S. dollar and U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)