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Monthly Archives: January 2014

dotgay LLC and Human Rights

Lest anyone ever forget, Gay Rights are Human Rights.  It is important to recall that the UN secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared in 2012:

 “No one gets to decide who is entitled to human rights and who is not.”

“Around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are targeted, assaulted and sometimes killed. Children and teens are taunted by their peers, beaten and bullied, pushed out of school, disowned by their own families, forced into marriage … and, in the worst cases, driven to suicide.”

“LGBT people suffer discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, at clinics and hospitals, and in schools – the very places that should protect them.”

“Lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. They too are born free and equal. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them in their struggle for human rights.”

“More than 76 countries still criminalize homosexuality.”

The only thing we need to add to that is that the the gay community suffers “discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity at work, at clinics and hospitals, and in schools” as well as on the Internet.

dotgay LLC is committed to defending gay rights with guidance from the gay community on governance.  As part of its application, it described the types of services and protection that it would offer.  This was one of the requirements of both the standard  application and the supplementary requirements that only community applications had to answer.  In its application dotgay LLC committed to Human Rights goals not only by contract that would be enforced by the ICANN compliance department, but also to dispute resolution by an external panel of third party grievances, that is, protest from the gay community if it does not live up to its promises as documented in Public Interest Commitments.

Over the last few months, dotgay LLC has been attacked with false claims that it would censor speech. Nothing in dotgay’s application substantiates this claim.  What the application does promise is that content that violates the International norms for “inciting violence and that incite or promote discrimination or violent behavior, including anti-gay hate speech”(20e) will be dealt with appropriately as determined by prevailing laws.  This means that dotgay LLC will strive to adhere to the best standards that have been established by various International agreements.  It does not mean that they will censor names, except for the fact that names will only be assigned to community members as defined by the Authentication Partners, that is the organizations that form the backbone of our community.

The application also states “dotgay LLC will have an established policy regarding adult content.”  This too has been taken to mean there will be content based censorship.  This is not the intent of dotgay LLC.  The intent is to work with the community to define standards and policies for the community gTLD and then to implement these in an appropriate manner.  The application is also careful to define an appeals mechanism for all issues and will engage an ombudsman to handle these in a fair and unbiased manner.

dogay LLC is committed to serving in the best interests of the gay community and is committed to adherence to the standards as defined in Human Rights.  Freedom of Expression is a critical right and is defended in the many international conventions of Human Rights as well as many constitutions and sets of  basic laws.  It is not, however the only Human Right that is pertinent to the gay community.

While all Human Rights are Gay Rights, the following list includes some of these that are most relevant to the work of dotgay LLC.  dotgay LLC will engage the community in discussions of the way in which these rights can become preserved and enhanced in the policies and operations of dotgay LLC.

From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 25

  1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 27

  1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Future articles in this series will explore each of these defined Human Rights and will put them in the context of the discussions to be organized by dotgay LLC with the community once it is certain that dotgay LLC has won the gTLD .gay for the community.

dotgay-community.org is currently looking at various online discussion tools to find one that can serve such a dialogue in a dynamic fashion.