No one is forcing you to go .gay

No one is forcing you to go .gay

Summary: Saudi Arabia, among other countries, has complained about an application for the .gay gTLD, but why is it even a concern?

TOPICS: Government

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is currently considering whether to grant around 1409 generic top-level domains (gTLDs), but opposition to some of the more controversial applications are already pouring in.

CNN has reported that Saudi Arabia's Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has filed objections to 31 of these, mainly directed at sexual or religious names, including the .gay and .sex names.

In one such comment on the .gay gTLD, the commission stated that ICANN should not be trying to impose western society's views of homosexuality on the rest of the world by allowing this domain:

If "gay" is an accepted activity in USA, it does not mean it is also accepted or welcomed elsewhere. ICANN should not enforce western culture and values into other societies. It should not ignore other society's values. If the new gTLD programs had been limited to the United States, the homeland of ICANN, then it might be accepted to have the applied-for gTLDs strings (.gay). In spite of this, even if these strings (.gay) represent a permitted western standard of expressions, ICANN should not impose it globally upon the rest of the world. ICANN should not ignore the fact that activities related to this string are considered [a] criminal act or unlawful in some parts of the world. Furthermore, ICANN should stick to GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) principles that call for respecting the sensitivity regarding terms with national, cultural, geographic and religious significance.

The applied-for gTLD string (gay) is not welcomed in many societies and communities and is against the law and public morality. ICANN should work for the benefit of all societies. It should not indulge itself in prompting and expanding western culture on the internet. If it is really desired and needed in the ICANN home community (USA), then it can be provided under the .us TLD (eg, but not in the worldwide root space.

Saudi Arabia isn't the only entity complaining. There are also a few "morals" groups opposed to domains like .sex, because they say it's just going to be used for pornography.

While I doubt that anyone buying a .sex domain is going to be using it for sunshine and lollipops (unless there's a fetish that I'm unaware of), I think that opposition to certain domains on the grounds of morality is probably missing the point.

Those who are opposed to sites ending in .gay or .sex just shouldn't go there. No one is forcing you to visit these sites.

I think the real concern with bringing in a .gay gTLD is that what we may end up with is online discrimination that's too easily achieved. Essentially, any country (say, Saudi Arabia) that brings in an internet filter could just block all access to any website ending in .gay, and thus prevent their citizens from accessing a swag of websites. In a country where homosexuality is oppressed, sometimes the internet is a person's only escape. Having this escape blocked so easily could hurt those people.

Most of the objections to top-level domains that I've seen so far have been pretty mundane, otherwise. Objections have been raised because a name might be confused with something else, like the objection to CommBank's .cba by Cordoba, Argentina. The Royal Australian Navy's objection to .navy and .oldnavy, is based on a claim that they breach Australian law. It'll be interesting to see which complaints ICANN takes on-board, and which are rejected out of hand. Comments are open until 26 September, so let us know if you come across any intriguing objections.

Topic: Government


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Umm

    Clearly your stance is different than theirs but, half the world has a moral objection to the lifestyle and their country has a right to govern within those objections.

    Personally, I dont have an issue with thwir decision and I don't care what their reasoning is.
    • Lifestyle?

      Always still gets me when someone says it's a "lifestyle", can't imagine those gay teens who kill themselves from constant bullying would agree it's a "lifestyle" otherwise they might just decide to stop living the "lifestyle". It is something they can't turn off and anyone who says otherwise is a moron.
      • Umm

        There isn't one single bit of evidence that says you are born that way.
        • Does/Should it matter?

          I am guessing that many of the fundamentalists who would ban or condemn homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, or transgendered people were not born fundamentalists. Are we to assume that it would be "okay" to persecute them?

          In any case, what is the "choice" pertaining to human sexuality? Is it the choice to be attracted to people of certain genders or ethnicities, or is it the choice of whether to accept and act on those attractions? And if you believed (for the sake of argument) that LGBT individuals were born the way that they are, would that affect your opinion of them?
          Third of Five
        • Re:Umm

          If you are just being a poe then well done.

          If however you are serious the answer is no there isn't one single bit of evidence that says you are born that way. There is a multitude.
    • Then would care about decision and reasoning of banning left-handed and ...

      ... ginger-hair people?

      Is it the kind of "lifestyle" that you do not care of, too?
      • oh here we go

        Nobody has a real explanation for those bprn left handed to this day but they are born that way and red heads are as well... Gays and Lesbians are not born that way!

        I know several lesbians, they were married to men and had children, they changed their lifestyle later in life because they had trust issues with men!
        • wrong

          1 . Gay is not a choice. Ask the American Psychology Association. Ask any gay person. Prove it. Live your life as gay for one year. Let us know how that works out for you.

          2. It's irrelevant. Religion is a choice. That doesn't let us deny civil rights to Baptists.

          3. I don't care about .gay, personally.
        • Re: oh here we go

          Forget my previous doubt, you are serious?

          "I know several lesbians, they were married to men and had children, they changed their lifestyle later in life because they had trust issues with men!"

          They were almost certainly latent homosexuals in denial or bi-sexual when they were married to men. Homosexuality is caused by brain chemicals and hormone levels. Reproduction is a random and quite faulty process and at times people with the brain chemistry of one sex is born into the body of the opposite sex.

          There have been a few cases triggered by brain injury which has caused a realinement in sexual orientation but that does no make it a choice.
  • more gay noise

  • I See The Missionary-Positionists Are Out In Force...

    Go read your Bible, specifically your "Song Of Solomon". And tell me that wasn't a god who loved gays.
  • WTF

    why stop there

    they need
    .bitch ;)
    .dick ;)
    .asshole ;)

    We already have:

    But we need :

    I am tired of all this .gay crap getting pushed in my face. its like second hand smoke. Smokers have a right to smoke, but I have a right to not breath it.

    Also since we are involving sex i the internet, why not religion too?


    oh ya if we have .sex why not
    I am sure there is a big list

    Buy you know what, there needs to be a (if you checked out the casual encounter section you will see more gay people on there then straigst people to the point females are asking on the site 'are ll the guys on here gay?)

    Anyways gay people don't need to be put on their own pedestal. They don't deserve their own domain name extension. What's next? they want their own country or planet?

    Also the more domain name extensions there is, the more trouble for spoofing/phishing attacks. Although, i don't know who would go to a .gay website and give away their credit card thinking its a bank website. Also new extensions can be a bad thing as it makes it more expensive for people and business to protect their IP, forcing people to register a .gay version of their website. And google searches for websites will result in gay results coming up making it hard for people to find the correct website. (70% of people/new computer users type in web addresses in google instead of typing them directly) So will google have a .xxx/.sex/.gay filter ?
    • more appropriate

      i think would be more fitting of an extension.
      • Disagree.

        Amongst my gay friends, most users of "" would not be looking for porn. However the combination of the two to cover gay porn "" may also prevent homophobes from having to avert their eyes when searching for straight porn.
    • I don't understand the point of complaining

      The .xxx was suggested as a suitable method of FILTERING porn. You didn't need to create a massive blacklist to block a child's computer, you just had to block "". So why are all these other getting their nipples short circuited? It again allows the super-simplistic filtering (within the appropriate cultures) of "", doesn't it? I'm sure that Google will get with the times and allow you to set your preferences by extension and you will be able to check ignore boxes alongside things like "", "", and "dot.scn" (the standard abbreviation for scientology)

      I want to see extensions like "", so that when I do a search on a particular piece of hardware I get the specification sheets or service manuals rather than the latest sales pitch. In all of my searches to date, I have NEVER had a "" recommendation, and I honestly didn't know if it had ever been implemented, although I can suggest a heap of other sites that I've tripped over that I would prefer migrated to a "" domain name, even some stuff on YouTube.

      Treknology is my registered business name in Australia, and yes, it is derivative of "Star Trek" without deliberately infringing on the relevant IP--it's a respect, "fannish" thing. I also discovered that it's a registered business name in the U.S. where it is used by a company that deals in camping and outdoor "trekking" gear. I don't think a visit to to find pictures of naked computer parts or naked hiking boots would be particularly exciting for anyone.
  • Grow a brain

    Australia complaining about "" is completely ridiculous. If it's "" is has nothing to do with Australian Law, and if it's "" then there is already the infrastructure within Australia to have it removed.

    We know there is a proliferation of kiddy-porn sites all over the world. In some countries they are illegal. So why doesn't ICANN create "" and get all those sites to migrate. Then Australia can do a mass block on "*.kp" and we don't have to argue with as to what should be whitelisted or blacklisted. (I am not advocating that "kp" is acceptable, just pointing out that in some cultures it is not considered illegal.)

    I well aware that "kp" conglomerates busted in Australia don't get caught by visiting "", and yes, you can safely visit that site and you will be surprised. They trade encrypted emails, and heavily protected CDs or DVDs. I was once asked to attempt a PGP decryption on a CD image of the hard drive that was Police evidence. "Did you image all the 'blank' space as well?" "No." "No can do, if he was viewing stuff, that's the only place I would find it in restoring deleted files. PGP has no backdoor access at all."

    Except for those who want to jump on a moral high horse, a sensible increase in the number of available extensions is going to help people better sift between what they want and what they don't want. Gradually, the various Domain Name holders will realize it is better for their activities to be searched under a more relevant or precise extension, because then they will be getting less random hits where the person has hit the "back button" before the screen has fully loaded, and they'll be getting more genuine hits.

    Using my example of "". If I do a search on HP3274 HD Monitor /tech, I expect to go straight to a page where this fictitious monitor is displayed with all the technical specifications. I don't want to be looking at this same monitor on a "" site where it tells be the physical size, "Wow! 29-inch screen!" I don't care about the physical size, I want to know the native pixel resolution. The monitor I'm using for this post is 27-inch and greater resolution than High-Def. Same with big screen TVs. 40-inch sounds great, until you find out it's only 1440 pixels wide (less than this monitor which is 2048 wide). That's NOT High-Def. A quick visit to a "" site would tell me this and I would not be wasting manufacturer time asking these inane questions.

    As for those who will always find something shocking to keep them able to complain, please visit where you may be fortunate enough to catch two utes in a compromising position.
  • All this fuss...

    I don't see why the "dot gay" TLD should not be applied. I fail to see the "moral dilemma" that it would impose. It's being slammed by religious groups (particularly fundamentalists), conservative groups (usually closely tied with religious fundamentalism), and the like. Why? "Because being gay does not sit with our group's world view...". So what?

    I could see the objections for a "dot satan" or a "dot nazi" or similar domains based on moral objections. It would be pretty clear that there would be some shady doings going on. But to deny LGBT groups from hosting discussion forums, dating sites, and community groups, for example, in their own corner of the Internet? Where people would be up to such things as providing emotional support for ostracised gays and lesbians (they're being punished for trying to find love. What's wrong with that?), organising outings and tour groups (I'm pretty sure gays and lesbians like to have a holiday just like the rest of us), and that sort of thing, where the only qualification is to be gay.

    If these groups can manage to pull their collective heads out of the ICAAN's backsides, they will see that the "dot gay" TLD would not be a bad thing.
    • My bad...

      The ICANN, sorry. It's a pity there's no edit function here. Oh well.