On March 18 2023, British campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull (“Posie Parker”) held an anti-trans rally in Melbourne. Speeches by the event’s organisers and its invited speakers compared being transgender as akin to child grooming, described trans women as male sexual predators and pedophiles, described gender affirmation healthcare as mutilation and framed trans rights as in opposition to the cause for women’s rights. This rally was also very publicly attended by members of Melbourne’s far right, who gave Nazi salutes to counter-protestors, and who publicly announced their presence as protectors and allies of the rally. The rally and its attendees and speakers were condemned widely, including by a wide range of Greens elected representatives.
On 22 March, Linda Gale, while identified as a member of the Australian Greens Victoria published an article on a public forum (1) in which she made allegations that the party’s actions “elevate” (2) Neo-Nazis and that the party and our elected representatives “enable” (3) Neo-Nazis.
Statement of State Council
The State Council of Australia Greens Victoria holds the view that many of the views expressed by speakers at the rally would constitute vilification of trans people. The AGV’s policy (4) states clearly that such hate speech should not be allowed in Victoria, and should be banned under anti-vilification legislation. We firmly denounce the specific hate speech and vilification that took place at the anti-trans hate rally held in Melbourne on March 18 2023.
The State Council also categorically rejects any suggestion that the party or our elected representatives “enable” or “elevate” Nazism in any form. Such allegations are both inherently absurd and deeply offensive to the membership. There is a significant record of Keen-Minshull’s rallies and activism being associated with, supported by and organised in partnership with far-right hate groups, as there is for the wider so-called “gender critical” movement. We denounce this association in the strongest terms.
In line with our party policy, we recognise that trans women are women, trans men are men, and gender diverse identities exist and are valid. Additionally, discrimination and vilification on the basis of sex characteristics, sexuality and gender identity is a significant cause of psychological distress, mental illness and suicide.
Unfortunately, recent controversy has undermined the confidence of some members in the Party’s commitment to this position, and its commitment to ensuring that our party is a safe and supportive space for trans and gender diverse members. To address this, the party has commenced three major strands of work:
- In April 2022 State Council established an Inclusion Steering Committee, which has been tasked with developing an Inclusion Action Plan (in December 2022, at the request of the Committee, State Council extended the deadline for this work to 30 June 2023)
- In December 2022 State Council commissioned a Panel of Inquiry to inform itself about events which have led to the current controversy and cast doubt on the Party’s commitment to its agreed position. The Panel will be reporting back to State Council in April 2023.
- In January 2023 State Council asked that a proposal be prepared to establish a review of our misconduct rules and processes. That proposal was passed on Sunday 19 March 2023 with a report due in June 2023. State Council has referred a proposal to add defined action which would constitute Transphobia to the Code of Conduct to this review process. State Council will also consider this proposal in its own right at a meeting of State Council in May 2023.
State Council recognises the harm caused by the need to continually address and discuss actions of transphobia within the party and commits to improving our culture, rules and policy platform to enable trans and gender diverse people to fully participate within our movement free from such harm.
- Published on a substack blog titled Green Ideas. We can confirm that this publication has no direct party affiliation and the publisher can not confidently assure readers or authors that it is a members-only forum. As such, we consider this article to be published in a public forum.
- “Neo-Nazis are abhorrent and should be treated with the contempt they deserve, and the Greens should not elevate them in the way that it has.”
- “A short history of Nazi enabling in the Party” “Our Greens parliamentary leaders have described the women protesting as dangerous and linked to the Nazis, with both groups described as apparently equally intolerant and hateful. This has been echoed by the other parties. That is, thanks to some Neo-Nazis turning up to carry out a stunt, there has been a lazy and unjustified vilification of women protesting for women’s rights as being themselves Nazis, Nazi allies and Nazi enablers..”
- Aim 13 Australian Greens Victoria Human Rights policy