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Groups push for '.gay' internet suffix
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Groups push for '.gay' internet suffix

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Two for-profit groups say there could soon be a '.gay' internet suffix. The Dot Gay Alliance (dotgay.org), a New York City-based company, and Dotgay (dotgay.com) out of Latvia, are pushing for the internet suffix to become a reality.

In other words, there could be a Capitolhill.gay or a Seattlegaynews.gay one day.

Although the two groups are open to the possibility of cooperating, they've yet to join forces. Instead, both groups say they are starting the application process with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), to create a domain like .com, .org and .net. ICANN coordinates the internet naming system. The application process costs upwards of $400,000.

Since the beginning of the internet, the domain-registry has been a profitable business. Each year, registered internet sites pay an annual fee. Neither group is nonprofit, but say they will funnel profits towards supporting Gay causes.

"This could be a significant source of funding for organizations fighting, doing very good, important works," said Joe Dolce, founder and executive director of the Dot Gay Alliance.

Dolce, a longtime Gay activist, got the idea for a .gay domain when he was working with an internet-domain consulting service that helped create a .eco domain. He said he was intrigued when former Vice President Al Gore said he would support .eco only if half the proceeds from the registration went to environmental groups. Dolce says he thought that model could be applied to Gay causes as well.

According to Dolce, the plan is for 51 percent of the proceeds from .gay domain registration to go to Gay causes.

"It's a very novel way that doesn't involve putting your hand out, doesn't involve another benefit or charity function," Dolce said.

So why .gay instead of .lgbt?

"Gay is an internationally recognized word, while the LGBT acronym differs across different languages," said Dolce, "Gay is a nice three-letter word, which fits internet naming convention."

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