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

For First Time, Majority of Californians Support Gay Marriage

For the first time since the Public Policy Institute of California started keeping track, a majority (50 percent) of Californians favor allowing same-sex marriage . In their statistical samples, the number had never risen above 45 percent. This is consistent with Nate Silver 's statistical prediction showing California would "turn" in 2010 -- and also good news for those currently collecting signatures to put a Prop. 8 repeal on the ballot this year. Love, Honor, Cherish has gone ahead with the repeal effort in spite of opposition from Equality California, the group that spearheaded the "No on 8" campaign, which is shooting for 2012. However, the groups did collaborate on the initiative's proposed language: Marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. The sooner Prop. 8 is repealed -- or overturned by a court -- the better, but I must admit that I am hesitant to push for...

How Likely is Immigration Reform This Year?

Yesterday's major immigration-reform demonstration on the National Mall took a backseat to the 11th-hour wrangling over health care in the House of Representatives – and the histrionics of the much smaller Tea Party crowd yelling racial and homophobic slurs at members of Congress. That seemed to underscore the very reason the pro-immigration crowd is so frustrated: Despite having promised to make immigration reform a "top priority" in his first year, Obama's efforts have been concentrated on health care. But the demonstrators drew a line in the sand. Speaker after speaker said the immigrant community would "hold Obama accountable." Nydia M. Velázquez, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told the crowd that they should tell lawmakers “that you will not forget which side of this debate they stood on." Others threatened not to support Democrats in the midterm elections if there was no movement. If the Schumer-Graham blueprint is any indication, bipartisan momentum is building...

The Little Picture: 'Americans' Call for DADT Repeal.

On Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C., gay-rights supporters hold a moment of silence to call for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell holding American flags distributed by Human Rights Campaign staffers. Notably absent was the rainbow banner that gay-rights proponents generally wave at rallies. Implicit message: We're Americans first, gay people second? The rally included speeches by comedian Kathy Griffin and Lt. Dan Choi and culminated in a march to the White House, where Choi chained himself to the surrounding fence.

After Health Care, Immigration

Addressing immigration is the best way to ensure health care reform is truly effective -- and score big political points with Latino voters.

(Flickr/Celinkins)
Most of the final negotiations over health care have turned on the abortion language, but last week members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus joined the fray, threatening to vote "no" on the Senate version because it prohibits undocumented immigrants from participating in insurance exchanges. In a recent appearance on On the Record , Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez pledged to vote down the bill, saying it prevented undocumented immigrants from abiding by the requirement that everyone have health insurance. "They're complying with the law," he said. "So what are we going to do? They [also] can't pay their taxes because it's administered by the government?" The House bill only bars undocumented immigrants from receiving subsidies to buy insurance, but because of the gridlock in the Senate, the plan is for the House to pass the Senate bill before it goes through reconciliation. On the eve of a massive immigration-rights demonstration planned in Washington on Sunday, some...

Kansas City's Chief Problem.

Citing declining enrollment and money issues, the Kansas City School Board plans to close 29 of its 61 schools. Kansas City's educational system has long been in decline, due to the hollowing out of the the city's urban core and the resulting re-segregation of area schools. Many scholars have cited Kansas City as a prime example of post-WWII white flight to the suburbs. Some blame Brown v. Board of Education for helping to spur it. As the table shows, the city's white population has remained relatively stable, but this masks the overall population increase in the metro area -- and as author Joshua Dunn notes , younger, middle-class whites fled to the suburbs while the remaining white population aged. With fewer school-age white children in Kansas City, enrollment dropped and racial composition changed dramatically. In 1959, 6.6 percent of Paseo High School students were African American. Twenty years later, that number jumped to 97.8 percent. Supporters of "vouchers" and charter...

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