After a long wait and much deliberation, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced the approval of more than 1,000 new generic top-level domains. Among them are .cheap, .ninja, and .lgbt.
ICANN also announced that it had rejected an application from gay businessman Scott Seitz's organization Dotgay LLC to administer .gay. Had it been approved, Dotgay LLC would license .gay to organizations within the LGBT community. But ICANN determined that Dotgay LLC failed to represent a community, giving it zero out of four points for its "nexus between proposed string and community" in its 16-point evaluation. Consequently, the potentially lucrative .gay will be auctioned off, and Dotgay LLC will have to contend with three other much larger competitors with an eye on making money from the domain extension.
This is a major setback for the LGBT community because .gay should be a safe space where users can trust that content won't be biased against gay people. Dotgay LLC had said it intended to vet applicants to make sure they were either gay or had a legitimate relationship with the LGBT community, and that it would reject porn sites and anti-LGBT hate groups. The goal was to make .gay a trustworthy domain in which users would know they were avoiding antigay or fake sites, and could possibly avoid the kind of cybersquatting that has afflicted other top-level domains.
ICANN is a quasi-autonomous, nongovernmental organization governed by the countries that contribute to a portion of its funding, and it has been accused of making up its rules as it goes along. Among the countries that contribute to ICANN's budget are Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have been vehement in their rhetoric that gays not be considered a community. It is ironic now that .gay sites will likely be subject to the likely largest market: porn. The domain will be awash in sex.