The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, recently announced plans to introduce a batch of new domain extensions, and one gay entrepreneur is coughing up the $185,000 application fee to get .gay approved. Scott Seitz, the chief executive of dotGay and the founder of SPI Marketing, hopes that his application is one of the expected 115+ entries to get approved.
However, before you rush out to register gay.gay, there are numerous obstacles Seitz must overcome before his domain extension dream becomes a reality. One is ICANN itself. There is no word how many of the applications the organization plans to approve.
Even if ICANN initially approves .gay, various country’s governments can use their clout to prevent it from ever being fully approved, as the U.S. and Brazil did with the .xxx extension in 2004. Several conservative Arab nations have already said they will oppose .gay.
Then comes the issue of governance. Should .gay cross all of the approval hurdles, the domain could become, in part, a forum for hate groups to fill with their vitriol. Seitz plans to work with groups like GLAAD and Lamda Legal to filter these users and defend the group in the legal battles that will inevitably ensue.
The path may seem daunting, but Seitz remains hopeful. “We’re getting ready to see the Internet reborn again in a very different way,” he says. “I got involved because I saw what the opportunity was for the gay community. .gay will be a venue for enhancing our ability to interact with each other as a community.”