6 News Australia
Vic Greens leader Samantha Ratnam responds to claims her party is rife with 'transphobic views'
Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam has responded to claims her party is rife with “transphobic views” in an exclusive interview on 6 News.
Ratnam, who’s also an upper house MLC in the Northern Metropolitan Region, was asked by 6 News Chief Anchor Leonardo Puglisi whether she believes her party has a “transphobia problem.”
“It’s really important we speak out against homophobia, transphobia, and any prejudice and discrimination we see happening."
When asked if she’s taken action against those who some party members have claimed are transphobic, Ratnam told 6 News that her party has been “ensuring that rights & protections for our trans and gender diverse communities are at the forefront of everything we do.”
“Our track record speaks to that.”
In April of this year, The Greens released a statement saying they “reject any suggestion that trans rights should be up for debate,” after comments from City of Melbourne councillor Rohan Leppert went viral.
He told The Age at the time that he’s “never met a transphobic person in my party,” and he “hope(s) that the left can make space for respectful debate.”
Then in June, a second controversy unfolded, with Greens senator Janet Rice saying it was "untenable" for Linda Gale to continue as Convenor of the Victorian Greens because she "co-authored a paper which I believe to be transphobic.”
Tim Baxter, the Port Phillip council deputy mayor who is politically aligned with The Greens, said at the time there are a "institutionally powerful people" in the party who hold transphobic views & claimed they had been "fighting to silence trans members and allies in the party.”
Ms Gale said in a statement she will "fight for the right of trans and gender diverse people,” but days later was no longer in the role & withdrew from an internal election in July.
As a result of all this, some Greens members & supporters have said on social media they’re considering not voting for the party at the November state election, and may support other parties like the Animal Justice Party, Reason & the Victorian Socialists.
Ratnam said “the will of voters” is important for this election, and pointed back to the federal election results as an indication of continuing support for The Greens.
Watch the full interview here.
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