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.

Connect with Gabe:

 

Recent Articles

A More Civil Union

Gay marriage passes in New York (finally).

(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano) Revelers celebrate in front of the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's West Village following the passage of a same-sex marriage bill in New York.
Same-sex marriage is legal in New York now, and it's about damn time. For five days, the Republican-controlled Senate debated and amended the same-sex-marriage bill to include stronger exemptions for religious groups; the negotiations kept legislators in Albany past the summer-recess deadline and into the night yesterday. At around 10:30, all but one member of the Democratic caucus, state Sen. Ruben Diaz, and four Republicans joined the majority to pass the bill by 33-to-29. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law shortly before midnight, setting off jubilant celebrations in Manhattan's gay neighborhoods. To denizens of liberal New York City -- the home of Stonewall, the birthplace of the gay-rights movement; and Act Up -- yesterday's vote marked the end of what had become an embarrassment. The state is the sixth to allow gay marriage (The District of Columbia also allows it). It's been eight years since the Massachusetts Supreme Court found that gay people deserved equal protection of the...

Cheesy Does It

How Glee became the most beloved show on television

The Glee cast (Flickr/Gudlyf)
Musical theater is as close as it comes to religion for me, so you can consider Glee 's 8-to-9 Tuesday slot on Fox my "Hour of Power." Like a missionary outpost in D.C.'s cultural desert, each week a local gay bar screens the latest episode on a large projector. For that short span of time, the club music and cruising stop while patrons from their 20s to their 60s sit in reverent silence to watch the high-school travails of McKinley High's glee club. If you ask me, any show that can hold a club queen's attention for that long deserves its title as "the gayest show on television." Glee , which wrapped up its second season yesterday, has already become so mainstream and commercial that critics are nostalgic for the good ol' days. The Globe and Mail 's John Doyle proclaimed a year ago that "the gaiety is gone from Glee . ... You should have seen it in its prime." Of course, the line between cheesy and sublime is a fine one, and if your high-school experience doesn't incline you to...

Why Immigration Reform Is Going Nowhere

Obama needs to treat immigration as more than just a national-security issue.

Border Patrol agent Albert Deleon checks the banks of the Rio Grande in 2007. (AP Photo/LM Otero, file)
Earlier this week, the president met with several high-ranking administration officials and supporters of immigration reform, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to discuss possible ways of moving forward with "comprehensive immigration reform" -- the euphemistic plan to trade tougher enforcement for much-needed improvements to immigration law. The meeting comes on the heels of a recent tour by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano highlighting improvements in border security and assailing Republican critics who depict the Southern border as a war zone. "We can't keep moving the goal post and saying, when the border is safe we will get to [immigration reform]," Napolitano said at a recent talk. "Enough is enough. ... Damaging information about border communities has been repeated often enough." But if the immediate reaction to the renewed immigration push is any indication, the debate is headed nowhere new. In...

Half a Million to Defend DOMA Isn't That Much

Left-wing media outlets are assailing House Speaker Boehner for paying white-shoe lawyer Paul Clement $530 $520 an hour -- and up to $500,000 -- for defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Here ’s Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress: The House GOP’s decision to stand by this unconstitutional assault on gay families is indefensible, and it is made all the worse by their fiscally reckless decision to hire one of the most expensive lawyers in America. Indeed, it wasn’t even necessary for the Republicans to hire a law firm at all to represent their anti-gay position. The U.S. House’s Office of General Counsel already employs a team of exceptionally competent lawyers who are all perfectly capable of drafting and filing a legal brief, and none of these lawyers earn more than a fraction of Clement’s multi-million dollar salary. First, as despicable as DOMA might be, Congress has the right to step in and defend its laws if the president declines to do so. Thinking that the current...

Cathie Black Shown the Revolving Door

Over at her personal blog, Prospect alumna Dana Goldstein has a sharp post on New York City Schools Chief Cathie Black 's resignation after only three months on the job. Late last year, Mayor Bloomberg had tapped the Hearst magazines executive to head the largest school district in the nation despite her having absolutely no experience in education. It seemed self-evident that, politically, the best person for Mayor Bloomberg to appoint to be the face of his education agenda would be someone who could soothe anxieties around race, class, neighborhood autonomy, and instructional best practices. Cathie Black was, almost comically, the opposite of all that. A publishing executive with no personal or professional experience with any public school sytem--let alone with the incredibly complex New York City public school system--Black sent her own two children to private boarding school in Connecticut, and had attended parochial schools herself. As my friend Elizabeth Green just noted on...

Pages