A ST Marys man who won the state’s largest payout for discrimination has not yet received the $25,000 awarded to him by the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.
Marriage celebrant Peter Power-Lawrence was recovering from open heart surgery in 2011 when St Helens man Nick Bouvy called him almost 20 times and left messages containing homophobic threats and abuse.
The phone calls were described by tribunal member Steven Bishop in February this year as “offensive and humiliating … and used abominable and disgusting language”.
The tribunal heard that Mr Bouvy’s anger stemmed from his belief that Mr Power-Lawrence had refused to conduct his wedding because of his past as a drug addict.
Mr Bouvy was ordered to pay Mr Power-Lawrence $25,000 as compensation for his behaviour.
Mr Bishop acknowledged in his ruling that it was “impossible precisely to translate the loss of enjoyment of life and the hurt, humiliation, fear and anxiety felt by the complainant as a result of the respondent’s conduct into a money value”.
Although required to pay the compensation order within 28 days from February 11, Mr Bouvy has not yet paid the sum owed to Mr Power-Lawrence, leaving him to describe the ruling as bittersweet.
Mr Power-Lawrence said on Saturday that he had asked the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to further investigate the case.
“[My partner and I] are quite determined people – we’re 57 and want to send the message out to people that this is unacceptable behaviour and we fear genuinely for young gay, lesbian and transgender people that perhaps they will be treated as we have been,” he said.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said it was important that such cases were reported.
He said he received reports of homophobic harassment several times each year.
“I know of same-sex couples who have moved to Tasmania for a new life and then left again when they experienced this kind of harassment from neighbours and community members,” Mr Croome said.
“The effect is a bit like living in a war zone, not knowing when or where you might be hit next by hate, threats or violence.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.