Saudi Arabia objects to .gay web address

Government of Saudi Arabia objects to a new .gay web address claiming it is offensive and will be used to promote homosexuality

Saudi Arabia objects to .gay web address
15 August 2012

The government of Saudi Arabia government has voiced its objection to .gay – a proposed new generic top-level domain name like .com.

The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) of Saudi Arabia said the .gay address ending would ‘promote homosexuality’ and be ‘offensive to many societies and cultures.’

Saudi Arabia censors many LGBT related websites. A study by the OpenNet Initiative, an academic network focussing on Internet censorship, found 170 LGBT sites were blocked by CITC in Saudi Arabia.

These include the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Gay Middle East, and Stonewall, the British gay campaign organization.

In 2010 Gay Middle East exposed how Arabic LGBT search terms are censored by Microsoft’s BING Arabic search engine, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking with the BBC a spokeswoman from The Lesbian and Gay Foundation said: ‘Sites under .gay would be carefully regulated and would not “promote homosexuality” but offer crucial support.

‘Arguably it is even more important for people living in countries such as Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is illegal and sometimes punishable by death to access this crucial support and lifeline.’

Andy Wasley, from Stonewall UK also told the BBC: ‘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.’

CITC also objected to 31 other proposed new generic top-level domains, including .virgin, .wine, .bar, .baby, .tatto, .africamagic and .islam. 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which regulates internet addresses, is in the process of determining which new generic top-level domains will be allowed.

Objections to these top-level domain names must be submitted to ICANN by 26 September.



No thumbnail available

Vengaboys are coming Down Under

Dutch dance-pop stars, The Vengaboys head to Australia in January 2012 for a series of concerts starting in Melbourne
No thumbnail available

Footballer Ravel Morrison charged for 'faggot' tweet

Former Manchester United footballer Ravel Morrison has until 4pm today to respond to FA's charge
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Italy grants gay partners rights but only for politicians

Deputies in the lower house of parliament given health benefits for gay partners. But other Italians are angry they are getting rights normal same-sex couples don't yet enjoy
No thumbnail available

Gay Aeroflot protest banner takes to runway

Activists protesting after gay Aeroflot flight attendant forced to marry to keep his job
No thumbnail available

Lesbian For a Year: We’d be more tolerant if we hooked up with the same gender

After dating only women for 365 days, Brooke Hemphill suggests people should have more same-sex experiences in order to have an educated dialogue on sexuality
No thumbnail available

Popstar Jessie J Tweets she really is bisexual

British pop sensation Jessie J dismisses unsubstantiated claim in new book that she is really ‘100% lesbian’ and not bisexual
No thumbnail available

Topless drummers and a leather-clad space vixen: it's Eurovision

Rapping astronauts, falling birds, disco balls and half-naked male dancers... it’s time for Eurovision Semi-Final One
No thumbnail available

Never forget: 9 gay icons who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS

The late, great stars who lost their fight against the illness – but will live forever in our memories
No thumbnail available

British Embassy proudly raises gay pride flag in Tel Aviv

To mark gay pride in Tel Aviv, the British Embassy is flying the gay pride flag to show their support