Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on February 18, 2011 03:00 PM
With Facebook now recognizing same-sex partnerships on profile pages, there may be hope yet for the movement to see .gay become an official domain.
The man behind a move to register the top-level Internet domain .gay says his effort is about more than just a name; it is about community.
Scott Seitz, the CEO of dotGay, is planning to ask the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to approve .gay as ICANN’s application period begins.
Seitz says his vision is for .gay to be a mixed profit and nonprofit “venue for enhancing our ability to interact with each other as a community,” with the power to filter and police content.
DotGAY would retain ownership of key domains, such as travel.gay and HIV.gay, for the purpose of developing community-resource portals, creating index directories for other .gay domains.
His effort is endorsed by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, and Seitz said the domain would launch with this type of content if approved.
However, approval for the domain name is by no means a sure thing. It’s sure to run into opposition — both outright from conservative Arab countries, for example, and less directly from the Obama administration, which has been trying to get ICANN to grant it and other governments to power to veto top-level domain names. An entrepreneur applied for the domain .xxx in 2004 and it still has not been approved due to opposition from the Bush administration and other governments.
While community comes first, Seitz says, it’s also easy to see the commercial potential of .gay. Unlike many other domain names that may refer to the type of information they contain, this one specifically and clearly refers to a target market without any need for further explanation. Whether or not .gay receives approval, the idea is one that could have a lot of potential for a variety of organizations.