There is a debate

The world is debating whether sex or gender identity should prevail in law, health, relationships, sport and language.

The Greens say there is no debate.

One month ago, the Tavistock in England closed its only youth gender clinic, the world’s largest, after an independent report found it had failed to keep children safe and rushed too many children down a medical pathway. Hundreds of young adults are now ‘detransitioning’, many having been sterilised by cross sex hormones and other ‘gender affirming care’ after being wrongly diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Australia’s State-based youth gender clinics follow the same gender-affirmation model.

The Greens say there is no debate.

One week ago, female prisoners in Melbourne released a petition calling for a male bodied serial violent sexual offender to be removed from the women’s prison. The prisoner has spent previous time in jail having been convicted for child sex offences. The prisoner now benefits from Victorian law, where one’s sex is a matter of self-identification, not biology (or medical verification of trans status).

The Greens say there is no debate.

One day ago, the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia became the latest such body among Australian States to recommend radical changes to State Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination legislation, following Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and the ACT in replacing sex with gender in defining sexual orientation.

The Greens say there is no debate.

There are Greens members who know full well that there is a debate. We fear that our party will make itself irrelevant if it wilfully ignores the debate, abandoning vulnerable people – including those in the trans community – as a political plaything for the right. If the left doesn’t find its voice, those with the most to lose will be women, lesbians, bis, and gays, and anyone who doesn’t conform with sex role expectations.

There are former Greens members who have left the party, having been silenced, threatened or bullied after seeking to debate sex and gender within the party. Every expulsion and resignation has reinforced a growing authoritarian tendency to not only declare that there is no debate, but to declare that there must be no debate.

Whether dogmatists within our party like it or not, there is a debate. Debate is the lifeblood of any political organisation. Without debate we cannot fulfil our profound duty: to demonstrate to the electorate how we will protect the marginalised and liberate the oppressed.

And so we will debate.

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