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Status: Proposed
Registry: Top Level Design[[Category:{{#sub:Top Level Design|2|-2}}]]
Registry Backend: CentralNic[[Category:{{#sub:CentralNic|2|-2}} Backend]]
Type: Community gTLD
Category: Culture
Community: LGBT community
Priority #: 179 - dotgay LLC
725 - Top Level Design
1089 - Demand Media (United TLD Holdco Ltd.)
1428 - Top Level Domain Holdings

.gay is a new generic top level domain name (gTLD) proposal to ICANN. The proposed .gay string is dedicated for the LGBT community.

Current Applicants

  1. Demand Media (United TLD Holdco Ltd.) - This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  2. dotgay LLC - Community Application
  3. Top Level Design
  4. Top Level Domain Holdings - This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.

Application Details

dotGay LLC

Scott Seitz is the CEO of dotgay LLC and selected Neustar to provide back-end registry services. [1] The company is affiliated with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, New York (NGLCCNY). dotgay LLC plans to donate 67% of the revenue generated from the sales of .gay domain names to non-profit LGBT organizations.[2] Its application is a Community Application

Their registration policies will include participation by "authentication partners", which will be gay and lesbian membership organization, ".gay is restricted to members of the Gay Community. Eligibility is determined through formal membership with any of dotgay LLC’s Authentication Partners (AP) from the community." Generic terms, such as "travel", will be reserved at the second level to create community resources, i.e. "travel.gay". [3]

In December 2012 dotGAY LLC began accepting applications from organizations interested in becoming Authentication Partners, despite the fact that the TLD remains in contention.[4]

Top Level Design

Raymond King, CEO of Top Level Design together with his business associate Peter Brual are applying for 10 gTLDs including .gay. Raymond is also the founder & director of ICANNWiki and CEO of Aboutus.org. King assured the presentation and neutrality of ICANNWiki.com will not be affected by his business venture on new gTLDs. CentralNic will provide back-end registry services for the company. [5]

Top Level Domain Holdings

The company confirmed that .gay is one of the 68 gTLD strings it is applying on its own behalf. [6]

On February 26 2013, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. announced that it had entered into a funding agreement worth $15 million to be used in the case of auction for a specific unnamed TLD. The investor will not receive ownership of the TLD but a share of future revenues. TLDH did not name the TLD that the funds are directed for, and it is in 11 head to head contentions and 12 featuring more than one contender.[7]

Dot Gay Alliance

It seems the previously announced Dot Gay Alliance is defunct, as it did not apply for the TLD under this name.[8][9]

Possible GAC Objections

A report from Time Techland quoted a statement from Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor and ICANN expert, that the contenders for the .gay TLD might face objections among the members of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) from conservative Arab nations. Mueller's statement reads, "It is clear from conversations with government officials in a couple of conservative Arab countries that they object to .gay."[10]

Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed an objection against the TLD, citing that "Many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion. The creation of a gTLD string which promotes homosexuality will be offensive to these societies and cultures. We respectfully request that Icann refuse the application for this gTLD."[11]

Independent Objector

The Independent Objector is responsible for determining if a new gTLD application is in the best interest of the Internet community. If not, he or she will file formal objections against a new gTLD application. Alain Pellet, a law professor from the University of Paris and a former member of the United Nations International Law Commission and International Court of Justice, was chosen by ICANN to serve as the sole independent objector for the New gTLD Program in May, 2012. [12] The position was created by ICANN in accordance with the implementation of the New gTLD Program. As defined, the IO may be an individual or organization and must not be affiliated with any applicant and must carry out their responsibility without bias.[13]

In December 2012 Mr. Pellet released his first correspondence on actual TLDs, commenting on so-called "Controversial strings". Those strings include: .adult, .sex, .porn, .sexy, .hot, .gay, .lgbt, .persiangulf, .vodka, and .wtf. A string seemed to have been deemed "controversial" by Mr. Pellet if it received a substantial amount of objections during the public comment period. He addresses each TLD separately and at length, noting the objection, and turning to International law and precedent to determine whether an objection from his point of view, of defending the public interest, is warranted. In each case he concludes that the objections are not supported by international law and that regional, cultural, and personal issues influence the objections rather than broadly accepted treaties, laws, or international cultural trends. He has reserved the right to later object to the strings, but at that time it was deemed that the "controversial strings" are in fact not offensive to the greater public interest and Internet users.[14]

With Regards to .gay, the IO notes that most objections are based on offense created on religious or socio-cultural norms that are not internationally shared or uniform and are not recognized in any international law. In fact, he notes a number of domestic and international laws that uphold non-discrimination, especially with regards to sexual identity and gender. He notes that LGBTQ rights have been spreading and becoming more of a understood and respected subject as time passes. He recognizes that some parties may continue to oppose or be offended by such identities and behavior but argues that a .gay TLD will create a clearly delineated space where those offending parties will know that the content will include gay-related material and can therefore avoid the offensive websites.[15]

Community Objection

The International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association filed a community objection against every applicant other than dotgay LLC, and also filed an objection against .lgbt[16]

Metroplex Republicans of Dallas filed a community objection against the dotgay LLC application.[17] GOProud, a gay lobby group, also filed a community objection against the dotgay LLC application, but it was rejected by the ICC for being over the word limit allowed for an objection. GOProud reached out to [ICANN]'s Ombudsman Chris LaHatte who ruled it "unfair" and recommended that the Board permit the late filing of the objection with the correct word limit[18].