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

Starving Homophobia

Is it right to deny foreign aid to countries that discriminate against gays and lesbians?

AP Photo
Yesterday the Obama administration brought LGBT rights to the top of its foreign-policy agenda, announcing it would tie the receipt of foreign aid to a country’s treatment of gay and lesbian citizens. “Gay rights are human rights,” Hillary Clinton said in a rousing speech to the United Nations in Geneva. “It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave.” As one would expect, the GOP quickly jumped on the opportunity. Rick Santorum assailed the president for "promoting gay lifestyles" around the globe, and Rick Perry quickly followed with a statement denouncing the administration's "war on traditional American values." By now the right’s sky-is-falling alarmism on gay issues has come to seem quaint. The new policy puts some bite behind the administration's effort to promote LGBT rights worldwide. While it may not cause an immediate about-...

Police Raze Occupy DC Shelter

Will resistance give the protest movement in the nation's capital the shot in the arm it needs?

After an extended showdown that began around noon Sunday, police in Washington, D.C., succeeded in destroying a wooden structure Occupy DC protesters had erected in McPherson Square to provide shelter throughout the winter. Police arrested 31 people in total—15 for crossing a police line and 16 for disobeying a lawful order, according to police spokesman Sergeant David Schlosser. The last protester, who climbed onto the top of the structure and held up an American flag, was forcibly removed by police in a cherry picker around 9 P.M. He faces additional charges for indecent exposure and public urination after urinating off the roof. "Who do you work for? Who do you serve?" chanted the crowd as officers placed the lone holdout in a harness. He was hailed on twitter as a hero: "When David relieved himself off the roof, he was simply showing how trickle down economics works," wrote Dave Storup, an Occupy DC sympathizer. Schlosser said the D.C. building inspector's office had determined...

Prop. 8: Bottom of the Ninth

A decision by the California Supreme Court puts the federal case against the state's same-sex-marriage ban on the fast track to the Supreme Court.

Krista Kelly/SIPA Press
Read the Court's Opinion s189476.pdf At 1 P.M. today, the California Supreme Court ruled that the proponents of Proposition 8—the ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state—have "standing" to defend the measure in court, even though the governor and attorney general refused to do so. For celebrity lawyer team Ted Olson and David Boies, this means their challenge will likely end up at the Supreme Court. The history of this case is complicated—and the question facing the California court, narrow. After Judge Vaughn Walker ruled the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in federal court last year, the case moved up to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. When a state law is struck down by a federal court, it typically falls to the state attorney general to defend it. But then-California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to do so, leaving the sponsors of the ballot initiative, ProtectMarriage, as the only ones left to defend the ban...

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Breitbart

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons) Andrew Breitbart is well known for his role in scandals such as the resignation of Shirley Sherrod and the ACORN video controversy.
As someone who underwent ex-gay therapy for three years -- and not because I was "going undercover" as gay to fancy myself an investigative reporter -- I couldn't care less if a clinic owned by Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and her husband, Marcus, practices ex-gay therapy. I'm not saying I don't feel sorry for patients who've been subjected to it. But I just don't see why the fact that Bachmann's husband runs a Christian clinic where therapists try to convert gays is any sort of revelation. Given Bachmann's well-documented statements decrying homosexuality as a demonic mental disorder, this doesn't prove to any greater degree than Bachmann has already established that she holds extreme anti-gay views; her bigoted outbursts about gay people have been in plain view for years. That it took an entrapment scheme and the pretense of catching Bachmann's husband in a lie to bring attention to the pair's radicalism just confirms the degree to which even liberal journalism has...

Gay It Forward

The marriage game plan after New York

(AP Photo/Gail Burton) A couple protest outside the circuit courthouse during a hearing in a 2005 lawsuit challenging Maryland's ban on gay marriage.
In a single day last week, the number of Americans living in a state that allows gay marriage doubled. But, beside the New York vote's tangible effect on 20 million state residents, the win is also a potent symbolic victory that has reinvigorated the movement nearly two years after its last wins in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. It's a watershed. "New York is one of the iconic American states, so it has national and international implications," says Mark Solomon, campaign director for New York-based Freedom to Marry, the largest national organization dedicated to fighting for marriage equality. "We've heard from all over the world on how this is pushing things forward." The benefits, gay-rights advocates say, redound on a number of fronts: The New York win is likely to accelerate the rate at which public opinion shifts in favor of same-sex unions and sends a signal to legislators and judges that supporting gay marriage is politically palatable. With the inevitable rush of news...