A Lebanese Muslim man was refused a protection visa in Australia because authorities did not believe he was gay.

The man, who cannot be named, says he is gay but became engaged to an Australian woman to escape his abusive father, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

He said he had two secret gay relationships in Lebanon but his father beat him when he found out.

On a visit to Australia in 2007, he said he became engaged to a woman he met through his uncle and applied to the Department of Immigration for a prospective spouse visa.

Eight days later, he told the department that he had broken off the engagement because his boyfriend in Lebanon was upset.

The man admitted that he had only become engaged to the woman to obtain a visa.

He told the Refugee Review Tribunal that he was desperate to escape his father and had been persecuted for being gay in his home country.

However, the tribunal did not believe he was gay or that he had been persecuted. Its findings were upheld by the federal Magistrates Court in Sydney.