Australian immigration officials denied a visa to a Lebanese man who sought asylum because they don’t believe he’s actually gay.
The 25-year-old man is engaged to an Aussie woman, who he hoped would be his ticket to freedom from an abusive father and general persecution in his native country, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The man purported to have had two secret homosexual relationships before coming to Australia for the first time in 2007. One night when he had returned home late with a friend, his father tied him up, hit him and burnt him with a cigarette, the man claimed. But during his first visit to Australia, the man became engaged to a woman after they were introduced by one of his uncles. He applied for a prospective spouse visa, providing the Department of Immigration with photographs of an engagement party and saying he planned to marry and have children. Eight days later, the man told the department he had broken off the engagement.
He withdrew, he says, because his boyfriend in Lebanon was furious with the arrangement. He argued before the immigration tribunal that “the struggles which a homosexual Muslim man faced when reaching marital age and in trying to avoid the stigma associated with being gay.” But the tribunal ruled that if the man was in actual danger he would’ve sought a protection visa sooner; a court agreed.
So it’s off to Lebanon he goes.