BERLIN — Austrian media are reporting that the asylum application of a 27-year-old Iraqi who said he fled his home country because of his homosexuality was rejected because local authorities said he was behaving "like a girl."

Austrian broadcaster ORF reported Thursday that officials in the country's Styria region said the Iraqi man appeared to be "faking" his homosexuality.

Gay rights groups criticized the explanation, the second such decision to spark criticism in Austria.

Last week, an official in Lower Austria province rejected an Afghan man's asylum application, saying "neither your walk nor behavior nor clothing indicate in any way you might be homosexual."

The country's asylum authority later said it has disciplined the employee in charge of the Afghan's decision, and regretted "linguistic lapses" on his part.