Gabriel Arana

Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.

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Recent Articles

The Citizens United of the Culture Wars

Flickr/Mark FIscher
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Heeding calls from gay-rights supporters, business groups, and Republicans like John McCain and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on Wednesday Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a "religious liberty" bill that would have allowed for-profit businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians so long as they were motivated by "sincerely held religious belief.” A nearly identical law failed to advance in Kansas last week. Now, in light of the blowback, anti-gay discrimination bills in conservative legislatures—including Mississippi, Georgia, and Oklahoma— have stalled , and even lawmakers who voted for such measures are stepping back their support. The failure of these anti-gay discrimination bills amounts to a stern rebuke to the religious right, which sees defeat on the horizon in the gay-marriage fight. Just in the past two months, judges have overturned bans on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, and...

There's No Place Like Homophobic Kansas

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
Count it as yet another thing wrong with Kansas, where schools teach kids Adam and Eve rode the dinosaurs and it's safer to be a gang member than an abortion provider . Last week, lawmakers in the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives set off outrage across the country by passing a law that would not only make it legal for private businesses to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and transgender people; it would also permit state employees—long obliged by our legal tradition to serve all customers on equal terms—to deny LGBT people basic services as long as they are motivated by "sincerely held religious beliefs." Narrow exemptions for religious and religiously-affiliated institutions have increasingly become a standard part of gay-marriage bills as more and more states begin to enact equal marriage legislatively instead of in response to a court ruling. But the Kansas law goes far beyond such targeted exemptions by sanctioning anti-gay discrimination in...

The Devil's Immigration Glossary

The immigration debate has given rise to a host of new words and phrases: "self-deportation," "operational control," "Dreamers." The latest: "legal status," the enigmatic term Republicans have recently used to describe their approach to dealing with the population of unauthorized immigrants living in the country. (As opposed to "illegal status"?) Given its capacity to persuade and express power, all political language is fraught, of course. But this is especially true of the immigration debate, where fiercely held views have given rise to a tendentious lexicon rife with euphemism and loaded language. This is perhaps no surprise given the (dreamy) ideology behind the idea of citizenship, the lore of American self-improvement, and the conflation of immigration with national security since September 11. But it's made the immigration debate a bit impenetrable for the casual observer. Here's your guide to decoding it all. Alien : Immigrant-rights advocates have long objected to this term,...

The Mythical Monolith

Latinos have the power to revolutionize American politics. But first they have to vote.

AP Photo
#pitch_entry-unrelated, .longform-ad { display:none; } Ever since a wave of mass migration from Latin America began to transform the country’s demographic landscape in the 1970s, political analysts have spoken about the “sleeping giant” of the Latino vote. Every election season, like a spectator staring through binoculars on safari, someone jumps to exclaim that the beast is rousing, prompting others to claim that, yes, they spotted it, too. “The giant is awake,” Harry Pachon, then-head of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, told The Miami Herald in 1988, the same year The New York Times made much ado about the fact that both Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush spoke Spanish. “The symbolism,” the Times wrote, “has not been lost on members of the long-neglected but fast-growing Latino population, who feel they have finally come of age politically.” That year, 3.7 million Latinos gave Dukakis, the...

The Passion of Dan Choi

#subscribe-prompt { top:200px; float:left; } Midway between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Newseum Residences is one of those glass-and-steel high-rises that feels more like a hotel than an apartment building. The floor in the lobby always looks as if it’s just been polished, the frosted glass wiped down. The building’s ten inhabited floors are near identical. Each has a long, windowless hallway with 13 or 14 doors, their numbers etched on brushed-steel plates. In the elevators, a printed sheet in a display announces the day’s schedule of events—breakfast in the lounge at seven, yoga on the roof deck in the evening. Most of the time, though, it seems no one lives there. On the 12th floor, Dan Choi’s apartment is the one with the lantern at the foot of the door—“for weary travelers,” he likes to say. A studio with a galley kitchen, it costs him $1,700 a month. He sleeps on the two L-shaped...