Dot Gay Alliance Proposes .GAY TLD

Stephen Yagielowicz
NEW YORK — The Dot Gay Alliance has announced its plan to create the .GAY top-level domain (TLD).

The official announcement is scheduled for next week's ICANN conference in Seoul, where the new TLD, designed to "provide a reliable and ethical source of funding for LGBT civil rights," will be proposed.

"Website names and email addresses ending in .GAY — such as www.yourbusinessname.gay, www.londonbars.gay, www.news.gay and millions more — will create a new Internet community of self-identified LGBT businesses, individuals and organizations and all those who wish to communicate with them," stated an alliance spokesperson. "And .GAY will be a community that gives back: A majority of all profits will be returned to the LGBT community to fight for equality in the U.S. and around the world."

The move is enabled by ICANN's decision to accept applications for new TLDs from entities such as cities, companies, organizations and others; paving the way for initiatives such as the adult industry targeted .XXX and now the new .GAY.

The Dot Gay Alliance was founded by its Executive Director, Joe Dolce, whose media strategy firm, DolceGoldin, provides communications services for the Alliance. The technical infrastructure is provided by Minds + Machines, the international Internet consulting group that is working with a number of new top-level domain efforts, including .NYC www.dotnyc.net with former New York City mayor Ed Koch, and .ECO www.supportdoteco.com with the Sierra Club and Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection.

"The LGBT community has always supported itself and its causes — no one was there to help us," Dolce said. "We've made amazing progress in the 40 years since Stonewall. Now in the digital era a .GAY top-level domain is a logical evolution in our history of self sustenance."

According to the alliance, its prominent supporters include New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; New York State Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell; Princeton University Professor Edmund White; civil rights attorney Paula Ettelbrick; Executive Director of In The Life Media, Michelle Kristel; and Sunil Babu Pant, the first openly gay member of the Nepal Parliament.

"We are delighted to be working with the Dot Gay Alliance to create .GAY. Their philanthropic business model represents what's best about the Internet," Minds + Machines CEO Antony Van Couvering said. "The LGBT community will gain an unmistakable, positive presence on the Internet and we're proud to be a part of that."

The Dot Gay Alliance will reportedly provide funding for LGBT civil rights groups in the U.S. and abroad, under the guidance of Paula Ettelbrick, an attorney and civil rights advocate who serves as the philanthropic advisor for the alliance.

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