The Texas Republican Party’s website went down Monday afternoon following reports of several controversial policy positions included in their official platform.
The party’s state convention over the weekend was muddled with several incidents, including a right-wing activist berating Representative Dan Crenshaw as well as backlash over banning a group of gay Republicans from setting up a booth at the convention.
But parts of their policy platform have drawn significant attention—and criticism. The party voted on measures that, if passed, would urge state lawmakers to secede from the United States and support a complete abortion ban.
On Monday, as reports over the controversial policy positions spread across social media, the state party’s website appeared to be down. Links to the website only yielded a page that read: “Error establishing a database connection,” rather than the website itself. The website was also down for at least part of the weekend, as well.
The state party had not issued an official statement on the outage, and Newsweek reached out to the party’s press office for comment Monday afternoon.
One particular tenet of the platform that has received attention is support for a referendum that, if supported by a majority of Texans, would allow the state to secede from the United States.
A section of the platform titled “State Sovereignty” stated: “The federal government has impaired our right of local self-government. Therefore, federally mandated legislation that infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified.”
The policy urges the state Legislature to require a referendum in the 2023 general election that would allow Texans “to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”
Still, experts cast doubt that Texas could actually secede from the United States legally. Jeffrey Abramson previously told Newsweek that “there is absolutely no legal basis for Texas to secede from the Union.” It remained unknown if the platform tenet had formally been passed by the Texas GOP.
The party’s Permanent 2022 Platform & Resolutions Committee also advanced a resolution claiming the 2020 presidential election violated the Constitution, revealing the extent to which former President Donald Trump‘s unfounded claims of voter fraud have taken hold within the Republican Party.
Delegates also voted on a measure that called for “equal protection for the unborn,” urging lawmakers to completely end abortion in Texas. The state already has one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the U.S., and a trigger law banning the procedure could go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Another part of the platform that faced criticism contained language that would define homosexuality as an “abnormal lifestyle choice.”
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