As socially conservative ‘Tea Party’ candidates win a number of victories in Republican primaries across the United States of America, it has emerged that the Republican Party in Montana has retained a policy to criminalise homosexuality in the state. Although the proposed ban sits alongside bizarre official policies including a proposed ban on mixed sex couples holding hands after sunset.

In 1997, following the case of Gryczan v Montana, the state’s Surpreme Court struck down state wide bans on homosexuality. But as recently as June of this year, the local Republican Party adopted an official position to introduce new laws to make homosexuality illegal.

“I looked at that and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Republican Montana senator John Brueggeman said last week. “Should it get taken out? Absolutely. Does anybody think we should be arresting homosexual people? If you take that stand, you really probably shouldn’t be in the Republican Party.”

The Montana Republican (GOP) party statement says: “We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.”

The state party’s executive director Bowen Greenwood told the Associated Press: “there had been at the time, and still is, a substantial portion of Republican legislators that believe it is more important for the Legislature to make the law instead of the Supreme Court.” Ironically, recently a local Republican “Tea Party” branch in Montana ousted its president over a homophobic comment posted on Facebook.

The proposed ban on homosexuality is on a list that includes laws banning mixed sex couples from holding hands after sunset; a law requiring every man who owns lad being literate; using every single part of a slaughtered animal and even more oddly a proposed law making the computer game Doom II illegal in the state.