SIDEBAR: dotgay LLC gets another chance at .gay for domain names

by Chuck Colbert
It’s good news for dotgay LLC’s effort to secure a top-level domain for the LGBT community. ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — has accepted dotgay’s request for reconsideration. 
Although the 32-page decision for reconsideration by the Board of Governance Committee rests on a technicality — evaluators “inadvertently failed to verify 54 letters of support” — the decision means that a brand new evaluation with new evaluators will now take place.
Vice president of marketing for dotgay LLC
Jamie Baxter
“This is a huge win for our community,” said Jamie Baxter, spokesperson and vice president of marketing for dotgay LLC.
Last October, ICANN denied community status to .gay.
While dotgay LLC passed the initial evaluation process, it fell short in the Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) phase.
In determining CPE, ICANN relied on a third-party evaluator, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is a part of The Economist Group and The Economist magazine.
In its determination, EIU said that “gay” is “not a well-known short form, or abbreviation of, the community.”
However terms like “gay rights,” “gay pride” and “anti-gay” are “globally used under an inclusive interpretation or umbrella term in mainstream media on a daily basis,” according to a dotgay LLC press statement.
The EIU also said that dotgay LLC ‘”substantially overreaches” to include trans, intersex and ally in the common community use of the term “gay,” citing the Oxford English Dictionary definition as “a homosexual, especially a man.”
Oddly enough, The Economist magazine uses the word “gay” to refer to all segments of the LGBT community and “goes on to describe the colorful acronyms that ‘gay’ encompasses, extending out from LGBT to intersex and queer,” said dotgay LLC’s Baxter.
The EIU’s critique stands as a “double standard,” he added, “one that penalizes dotgay LLC and contradicts even their publishing arm’s use of the word ‘gay.’ By EIU definition, gay rights discussions — and events like gay pride — would be exclusive to ‘homosexual men,’ which is untrue.”
Baxter said he believes that ICANN evaluators “don’t understand our community. We are being overlooked because of this weird word semantic. I can guarantee that when you use [the word ‘gay’], people understand what you are talking about.”
With the reconsideration decision, Baxter said dotgay LLC “is currently dissecting the decision and looking at any strategies we may undertake before the new evaluation begins.”
Even with new evaluations and evaluators, ICANN was clear that its decision does mean “that a newly constituted CPE panel necessarily will overturn, reverse or otherwise alter the decision” that .gay did not meet CPE criteria.  And yet the decision “allows the appointment of new CPE evaluators — and potentially new core team members — to conduct a new evaluation and issue a new report that will supersede the existing CPE Panel Report.”
The above story is a follow up to
Volume 16
Issue 10

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January 27, 2015


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