Decision.Gay: Is the Gay Community Being Jilted in the Race for .Gay?

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Time will tell if ICANN acknowledges & addresses documented violations of the evaluators entrusted to carry out a fair and thorough Community Priority Evaluation for dotgay LLC

NEW YORK, NY—A recent announcement from ICANN, the governing body of the Internet’s domain name system, has left LGBTQIA people wondering if the gay community is getting fair treatment and a fair evaluation in its pursuit of the .GAY domain.

What is clear and obvious to most, is that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of “gay” does not define the gay community. It never has and never will. Nor should it ever be considered the appropriate metric in determining the fate of an LGBTQIA population or the .GAY domain. Bad metrics and process failure equate to bad decisions, and that is exactly what unfolded in the community priority evaluation (CPE) of the dotgay LLC application for .GAY. [pullquote]Although we have, and use, other terms that perhaps describe more colorfully and politically correct the events and policies that incorporate our population of LGBTQIAs, it remains indisputable that “gay” provides a catch-all term commonly used and understood around the world and in the media. Rightly or wrongly, that is beside the point in this scenario.[/pullquote]

The question the gay community is left with now is whether we will tolerate being minimized and scrutinized against a dictionary definition, instead of being evaluated for the real live people we are.

As we celebrate gay pride, gay rights and gay marriage in our daily lives, it remains crystal clear that our language is not exclusive to homosexual men. Furthermore in countries with anti-gay laws enacted, the dispensing of criminal charges and punishment does not discriminate among LGBTQIA. Although we have, and use, other terms that perhaps describe more colorfully and politically correct the events and policies that incorporate our population of LGBTQIAs, it remains indisputable that “gay” provides a catch-all term commonly used and understood around the world and in the media. Rightly or wrongly, that is beside the point in this scenario.

ICANN apparently disagrees with these claims and the reality we live in. By accepting the CPE results for dotgay, ICANN by default accepts the CPE panel assertions that dotgay has overreached to include trans and intersex individuals in our community, or even that they could identify as gay. The panel even questions whether allies can be part of our community, ignoring the role of organizations like PFLAG, Colage and Athlete Ally while refusing to acknowledge the similar risks and punishments they are subject to in countries with anti-gay laws. Seemingly ICANN and the CPE panel claim to understand our community better than those LGBTQIAs living in it and supporting a community operated .GAY. [pullquote]By accepting the CPE results for dotgay, ICANN by default accepts the CPE panel assertions that dotgay has overreached to include trans and intersex individuals in our community, or even that they could identify as gay. [/pullquote]

Why such a HARSH evaluation? To provide perspective one must know that applicants capable of passing CPE, a test designed to prevent non-community bids from “gaming” the program, are awarded relevant TLDs outright and avoid an ICANN forced auction.

With years of documented and transparent community collaboration, and over 240 endorsements from LGBTQIA organizations around the world, clearly dotgay was not attempting to “game” anyone. What reason then did the CPE panel have to fail the gay community’s application? That seems to be rooted in their misunderstanding of the LGBTQIA population, and the gay community in general. [pullquote]With years of documented and transparent community collaboration, and over 240 endorsements from LGBTQIA organizations around the world, clearly dotgay was not attempting to “game” anyone.[/pullquote]

The outcry from community organizations on the CPE result has been swift, with letters submitted to ICANN from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association (ILGA), National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and most recently the Federation of Gay Games. In addition, more than 50 co-signers have also lent their names to the cause of highlighting the error of ICANN’s ways.

Wanna help? Here is how to help in a flash:

  1. Join in the Twitter chatter using @ICANN & #reicann (= reconsider ICANN)
  2. Amplify those voices you hear on Twitter by retweeting
  3. Add your business or organization as a co-signer of the Gay Games letter by emailing jamie@dotgay.com with a one-sentence description of we can use to identify your group (deadline December 11)

If all follows schedule, ICANN should make an announcement before the New Year, identifying the result of dotgay’s pending reconsideration request.

The final dotgay Reconsidertation Request is available online.
To learn more about the dotgay LLC plan, get involved and go online to www.dotgay.com.

[From a Press Release]

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