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Why some LGBT groups are nervous about the .LGBT website domain

This week, the first website domains ending with .LGBT launched.

Obviously, this is very much a cosmetic change for many sites. Pink News has been reporting on LGBT issues since 2005, and getting a .LGBT domain likely won't change the website much, if at all.

But this shows the broader acceptance of LGBT rights. It happened on the same week that same-sex marriages began in Alabama, a state that resisted interracial marriages until 2000. And US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued the country is ready for same-sex marriages, saying it would "not take a large adjustment" for Americans to accept the constitutional right, just months before the Supreme Court will hear another same-sex marriage case.

Still, some LGBT groups, particularly the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association, have objected to the management of the .LGBT domain. As Marc Naimark explained at Slate, some are worried these types of domains, including the .gay domain, will be picked up by haters to bash LGBT people — or porn websites for purely commercial purposes.

That doesn't seem to be the case for now. The five websites that launched with the .LGBT domain are vocal allies of the community: #Boom Media, the Original LGBT Expo, Philly Gay Lawyer, Out Now, and Pink News.

Roland LaPlante, chief marketing officer of domain registry operator Afilias, which manages .LGBT, said in a statement that the domain will allow email and website addresses to "instantly convey 'LGBT-friendly.'" But he also acknowledged that it will let some organizations stand out in "an increasingly crowded marketplace for goods, services, and ideas" — like, perhaps, porn websites.