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10|26|2009 09:48 am EDT

Two Groups Competing For .GAY TLD

by Chad Kettner in Categories: new gTLDs

According to the New York Times, The Dot Gay Alliance ( of New York City and dotGay ( of San Francisco are both planning to apply to ICANN for the .GAY TLD. And while they haven’t closed the door to joining forces, they aren’t exactly planning to work together as of yet.

The Dot Gay Alliance application is spearheaded by Joe Dolce, a longtime gay activist who got the idea for a .GAY domain when he was working with Minds + Machines. The .ECO project caught his attention when Al Gore said he would only support the TLD if half the proceeds from the registration would go towards environmental groups. Because of this, Dolce is planning to use 51% of the proceeds from the extension to fund gay causes.

“This could be a significant source of funding for organizations fighting, doing very good, important work,” said Dolce. “It’s a very novel way that doesn’t involve putting your hand out, doesn’t involve another benefit or charity function. This is a community that has to sustain itself.”

A number of gay activists from the local New York community — including City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn and State Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell — have written letters of support for the Dot Gay Alliance.

On the other hand, the dotGay application is lead by Alexander Schubert, a heterosexual who hasn’t yet rounded up any formal support from the local Bay Area community. He does, however, have experience in applying for new TLDs as he was the co-founder of a group which pushed for .BERLIN.

“All these years, I thought about the perfect top-level domain,” said Schubert, who was born and raised in Berlin, the gay capital of Europe. “I came to the conclusion that it should be a community like the gay community.”

And although Schubert plans to give more than half of the proceeds to gay causes,  Dolce doesn’t think he should be applying.

“If you’re launching a purely for-profit venture called dotGay and you are heterosexual, then you are in a way continuing a legacy of straight people earning a lot of money off of gay people that has gone on,” said Dolce. “I want to create a community which is run by the community and gives money back to the community.”

Both groups will attend the ICANN meeting in Seoul, South Korea, that starts on today.

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