The World Wide Web will soon be responsible for more than 10 percent or even 15 percent of gross domestic product in G20 countries, yet gay people continue to be denied opportunity to fully participate in its operation. Despite clear plans and global support to create community benefit from the new .GAY namespace, the top brass of the internet continue to deny LGBTQIA efforts to operate it. What does this say about equality of opportunity and nondiscrimination for the gay community when it comes to operations of the world’s most important means of communication and enterprise?
Years of fighting for equality and human rights have brought the LGBTQIA community together. Allies and advocates fought collectively to create organizations and policy improvements within government, institutions, and corporations so that safe spaces and equal footing could exist for employees and citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Despite these advancements, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has ignored its own commitments to human rights and nondiscrimination by disadvantaging the gay community over big money interests.
ICANN is a California nonprofit organization responsible for keeping the Internet “safe, secure and interoperable.” Since 1998, it has also been responsible for contracting with those operating Internet namespaces. Some legacy namespaces include .COM and .ORG, but hundreds more have recently been released into the market such as .BANK, .YOGA, and .NYC.
Each operator is responsible for managing and developing policies for their respective namespace. With four companies applying for the .GAY namespace, ICANN has found itself in the middle of a controversy involving the transparency and fairness afforded to dotgay LLC, the only community-based applicant for .GAY competing against strict business applications.
There’s much more to this story at The Advocate, so click on over to read. Just once, it would be so nice if something could work, and work smoothly.