Your Favorite Gay Websites Could Soon Get a .LGBT Domain Name

We’ve all seen (dot) com and (dot) org and, frankly (dot) just about everything else, but what about (dot) LGBT? Soon, thanks to Afilias, an Irish domain company, many LGBT websites you frequent could have the “LGBT” domain attached. Just imagine typing atticyouthcenter.LGBT or waygay.LGBT or, heck, maybe even gphilly.LGBT. Reps from the company explain why they chose to create the new domain:

With “LGBT” being most preferred term by the community, the .LGBT web address naturally appeals to this audience. Businesses, organizations and other entities with a .LGBT address will stand out and their intention to connect with the community will immediately get recognized.

Proponents are praising the news as an opportunity to cultivate networking within the LGBT digital community, providing a safe space to share LGBT content and to make LGBT-centric sites more visible.

There are concerns, too, namely the fact that anti-LGBT groups could take up the domain names for negative purposes. PGN columnist Angela Giampolo explains:

In my opinion, the only foreseeable problem Afilias could run into is maintaining its Acceptable-Use Policy. The AUP is a strict policy enacted to protect the community from possible misuse of the space — i.e., homophobic people or companies with anti-LGBT agendas buying up domains to spread their messages of hate.

The AUP will be policed by Internet users, as it’s impossible for Afilias to monitor the content on each and every site. There is a special page to report abuse of the domain, which will then be submitted to a dedicated department created by Afilias for this purpose. If there is clearly something defamatory like “God hates fags,” Afilias will work its magic and stop the site from working at an .LGBT address. Afilias cannot take sites “down” per se, but AUP violations will result in the site’s removal from the LGBT space.

Starting tomorrow, Afilias will release the .LGBT domain for folks who are interested. The sign up is easy, and that information can be found here.