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.
Lou Dobbs' abrupt departure from CNN seems to be the product of ongoing wrangling between the anchor and network executives, who gave him the choice of either making his show more "objective" or resigning.
Today, the Senate joined the House in passing the Matthew Shepard Act, which
provides for stricter sentences if a crime appears to be motivated by anti-gay bias.
It's near certain that Obama will sign it, giving the Human Rights Campaign
a public relations boost and likely a fundraising bump. But in reality, the lobbying crusade for this legislation doesn't amount to much more than wasted effort and lost opportunity.
This weekend, thousands of gay people will descend on Washington to participate in this year's National Equality March, which calls for "equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states." Organizers have planned workshops and genteel cocktail hours leading up to Sunday's march on the Capitol, but these events aren't really what most people are coming for.
Judy and Phillip Shepard, parents of the late Matthew Shepard,
during a dedication of the Matthew Shepard Memorial Bench Saturday,
Sept. 27, 2008 in Laramie, Wyo. (AP Photo)
Since Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered a decade ago, his story has achieved the status of parable, illustrating how ugly anti-gay bigotry really is. Every year, thousands of high school students across the country perform Moises Kaufman's play, The Laramie Project, which recounts the aftermath of Shepard's murder through the eyes of the local residents.