Agreement between verbs in main and dependent clauses
Consider this sentence I came across today in a news article:
They said they believe the strangers targeted them because they are transgender.
It would sound better to me if the "are" in the dependent clause were replaced by a "were." My feeling is that this kind of construction is supposed to capture the circumstances that existed at a particular point in time, so that the verbs should agree. Is this the case?
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