Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast. To contact him, visit his website.
Looks like the nativist group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC) is getting desperate. William Gheen's rant at a rally "outing" Sen. Lindsey Graham, who supports comprehensive immigration reform, has gone viral. Though Graham has said repeatedly that he is not gay (just single), ALIPAC insists on pushing this line. The organization sent out a press release praising Gheen for correcting the "information imbalance":
As immigrant-rights supporters urge Gov. Jan Brewer to veto Arizona's tough new immigration bill, Randal Archibold at TheNew York Timesexamines how a state with one of the largest Latino populations has come so close to passing the country's most punitive anti-immigrant bill yet. He notes John McCain's change of heart on comprehensive immigration reform and details the political rise of the bill's chief architect, state Rep. Russell Pearce, who went from a Republican "embarrassment" to a party leader.
Most of the reaction to Arizona's passage of a draconian immigration bill -- one that is almost identical to the 2006 bill that set off mass immigration-rights protests across the country -- has focused on whether it will lead to racial profiling. SB 1070, which was approved by the state Legislature Tuesday and is expected to be signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, makes undocumented presence in the state a criminal, rather than a civil, offense. It also empowers local law-enforcement officials to determine the citizenship status of a person if there is a "reasonable suspicion" he or she is undocumented.
In a case that involves dozens of religious groups as well as gay- and civil-rights organizations, the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez on Monday. The justices will consider whether UC Hastings College of Law – a public institution – can deny funding to a campus religious group for violating the school's nondiscrimination policy. The Christian Legal Society, which requires its members to sign a pledge disavowing "fornication, adultery, and homosexual conduct," sued Hastings for refusing to recognize the student organization because it discriminates against gays.
John McWhorter has an analysis of "Palinspeak" at The New Republic that has gotten quite a bit of attention. As a trained linguist (by happenstance I was a PhD candidate at Cornell, where McWhorter taught, before switching to journalism), I think his take is refreshingly devoid of cliché alarmism over the "decline of the English language." McWhorter makes the interesting observation that the style of political speech has shifted from the rigid scripted performances of politicians like Warren G.