A dispute over a post on Canberra radio newsreader Beth Rep's Facebook page was meant to end with an apology to transgender activist Bridget Clinch.
Instead, the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday found Ms Rep breached discrimination laws when she 'liked' offensive comments on the post, and ordered she pay Ms Clinch $10,000 in compensation.
Ms Clinch — an Australian Army captain who medically transitioned from life as a male to female in 2010 — first came into contact with Ms Rep after the newsreader made online comments about her after International Women's Day in March 2018.
After Ms Clinch complained to the ACT Human Rights Commission about the comments, Ms Rep posted about it on social media, and was subsequently banned from Twitter.
Mediation led to Ms Rep posting an apology on her Facebook page in mid-2018 and paying Ms Clinch $700, but the post attracted 304 comments, many of which were offensive, and some of which were 'liked' by Ms Rep.
Ms Clinch then initiated proceedings for damages under the Discrimination Act, alleging unlawful vilification and victimisation based on gender identity.
Ms Rep, who works for local radio station 2CC, wrote the posts and liked the comments on her personal Facebook page.