The 9-5 decision by ICANN's board came nearly seven years after the proposal was first floated by ICM Registry LLC. It was the third time ICANN has rejected such a bid. One member abstained from voting.
"We are extremely disappointed by the boards action today," said Stuart Lawley, ICM's president and chief executive. "It is not supportable for any of the reasons articulated by the board, ignores the rules ICANN itself adopted for the RFP, and makes a mockery of ICANN by-laws' prohibition of unjustifiable discriminatory treatment."
He added that ICM would pursue the matter energetically.
Many of the board members said they were concerned about the possibility that ICANN could find itself in the content regulation business if the domain name was approved. Others criticized that, saying ICANN should not block new domains over fears like that, noting that local, state and national laws could be used to decide what is pornographic and what is not.