A Lebanese man who claims he’s gay and got engaged an Aussie woman to appease his violent father has been denied a protection visa, as the authorities don’t believe he’s actually gay.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the 25-year-old says he suffered persecution in Lebanon for being gay, where he had two secret relationships with men.
He told the Refugee Review Tribunal that he’s been desperate to escape his father, who he claimed had once tied him up and burnt him with a cigarette.
His situation was a result of ‘’the struggles which a homosexual Muslim man faced when reaching marital age and in trying to avoid the stigma associated with being gay’,” he claimed.
He initially applied for a prospective spouse visa, showing the authorities pictures of him and his fiancé together and telling of plans to raise children together. But just over a week later, the engagement was off.
The Tribunal considered that the delay in applying him applying for a protection visa showed that he was not is fearful of returning to Lebanon as he claimed. Doubt was also cast on whether he was gay or not. Its full decision is expected to be posted online here in coming days.
Increasing numbers of potential refugees fleeing countries with homophobic laws are encountering committees tasked with deciding whether they’re actually gay or not.
The Sydney Star Observer reported last year that a Bangladeshi male couple had real difficulty in providing evidence that they were in a genuine relationship when seeking to secure asylum in Australia.
“I’ve been bending over backwards to try and think of some way to prove these guys are gay,” their lawyer explained, adding that suggesting the couple actually have sex in front of witnesses had been considered as a last resort.
“If worst comes to worst, they’ll do it but they’d regard it as horribly embarrassing and terribly intrusive.”