Saudi Arabia opposes .gay internet domain name
The Saudi Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has issued an objection to a possible introduction of a .gay domain on the net. They say that such an action would be “offensive” to some societies and cultures.
The CITC authority has filed an official objection to the possible move with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) – the organisation responsible for overseeing the rollout of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLD).
Various campaigners say the .gay domain would help offer support to the homosexual and bisexual community, with particular support coming from the gay porn industry.
Icann revealed back in June that it had received 1,930 requests for gTLD “strings” which would be used as an alternative to the already clogged .com, .org or other current options.
According to Icann’s records, Saudi Arabia’s CITC offered up its objections, “Many societies and cultures consider homosexuality to be contrary to their culture, morality or religion,” its submission said. “The creation of a gTLD string which promotes homosexuality will be offensive to these societies and cultures. We respectfully request that Icann refuse the application for this gTLD.”
It is not just the .gay string Saudi Arabia has objected to, they have objected to several “strings” including .poker and .vodka.
Andy Wasley, from UK gay equality group Stonewall said “Saudi Arabia already prevents its 1.9 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people from visiting community websites, like Stonewall’s, that offer support and information. It’s disappointing that it now wants to censor the internet for 420 million gay people worldwide.” Which has been seen by some as perhaps an over reaction to the ultra conservative nations objections.
Other strings objected to include,
.sex on the grounds it would increase the proliferation of pornographic material on the web.
.virgin, .sucks, .dating and .baby because they might also be used by pornographic sites.
.tattoo because the practice is contrary to religions “such as Islam and Judaism”.
.wine and .vodka since they could glamourise the consumption of alcohol.
.africamagic because it “implies that it is linked to black magic and this is considered offensive”.
Icann will continue to invite and accept comments and objections to the proposed new gTLDs until 26 September of this year. Decisions on which strings will be in operation or the organizations that will administer them is not expected before the end of 2014.