Samantha Ratnam, Vic Greens leader ousts state convener


Samantha Ratnam
Image: Samantha Ratnam Facebook

Samantha Ratnam has announced the ousting of controversial state convener Linda Gale. The Victorian Greens leader said that last week she successfully applied for the setting aside of recent election results.

Linda Gale

In 2019, Linda Gale co-authored a paper widely regarded as transphobic. That led to a social media backlash against her recent appointment to a casual vacancy as state convener. Gale consequently responded with a statement reaffirming the Greens’ policy that ‘trans rights are non-negotiable’.

However, she did not disavow comments in the 2019 paper. That prompted Greens Senator Janet Rice and two Victorian Greens MPs to call for her resignation.

Senator Rice said she welcomed Gale’s statement, but it didn’t go far enough. She said she regarded the 2019 paper as transphobic and “an attack on the very identity of trans and gender diverse people.”

Samantha Ratnam’s statement

Samantha Ratnam tweeted an explanation of the process leading to Gale’s removal as state convenor.

“So many Greens supporters have joined our movement over the years because of our unwavering commitment to equality, including for trans and gender-diverse people.

“Right now, those supporters are understandably very distressed and disappointed by what is happening in the party.”

Samantha Ratnam went on to say that she successfully applied for the setting aside of Gale’s appointment because of a failure to follow rules during the election process.

She also explained that she made no public statement until now for fear of compromising the process. But she said, her action succeeded.

“Linda Gale is no longer the Convenor of the Victorian Greens.”

She said a new election would take place.

“I urge Linda to not re-contest the election.”

“Let me be clear: the rights of trans and gender diverse people are not up for debate.”

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