Proposal for .Gay TLD Stirs Controversy

Feb 16, 2011 8:00 AM PST
CYBERSPACE — The founder of dotGay said he plans on asking ICANN to approve a disputed new TLD, .gay.

Scott Seitz said he plans to submit his proposal to ICANN, though it could hit a roadblock thanks to a new Obama administration proposal that would give members of the Governmental Advisory Committee or GAC, the power to veto objectionable top level domains.

"Any GAC member may raise an objection to a proposed string [gTLD] for any reason,” the proposal said.

“If it is the consensus position of the GAC not to oppose objection raised by a GAC members or members, ICANN shall reject the application.”

Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller said the proposal is an “assault on Internet freedom” and could jeopardize Seitz’s efforts.

"It's problematic, and it's discrimination on a terrible level," Seitz said of the veto proposal.

"It's not even appropriate for countries [to have the ability to veto] because of freedom of expression. Anything beyond [restricting speech that] incites violence is discrimination."

Seitz, who is also the founder of SPI Marketing, has built a brand of full-service gay marketing, public relations and event planning.

".Gay will be a venue for enhancing our ability to interact with each other as a community,” Seitz said.

“It also became a global networking opportunity, linking community centers. It's really going to be a hybrid not-for-profit and for profit — that's really the vision. There is a business plan in place. There is, I believe, a way to have a happy middle of the road. Our goal is to reach out to the initial community that's out, including the gay and lesbian business community."

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